29 drivers of illegal tourist transport were brought before a special tribunal at the Tabanan District Court on Tuesday, February 19, 2013. The gypsy drivers were captured in raids and document inspections held at major tourist attractions in Tabanan conducted at Ulun Danu, Tanah Lot and Batukaru.
According to the Bali Post, the drivers complained that the Rp. 300,000 fines imposed by the Court was too burdensome, with one of the men having to seek contributions from others in attendance in Court to cover the expense. Had any of the men failed to pay the fine, the Court was prepared to impose a 7-day jail sentence.
“Rather than jail, it’s better to just pay the fine, although the amount is quite high,” complained Made Bo, one of the illegal transport drivers from Denpasar. Bo explained that he earns an average income of Rp. 300,000 per day – an amount that must be cut further to pay for vehicle rental, fuel and other costs. On the average, a driver is fortunate to take home Rp. 100,000 for a full days work.
Many of the drivers told the press that they are attempting to obtain tourist transport licenses. This process, they claim can take an extended period of time and cost up to Rp. 5 million (US$500) per vehicle.
The penalty imposed by the sole presiding judge Gede Yuliarta was substantially less than the maximum allowed under the law of Rp. 5 million (US$500) or a jail term of 3 months.
The raids carried out at the tourist objects were a joint operation carried out by police, regency enforcement officers, transport office officials and members of the Bali Guide Association.
During the raids, 67 vehicles carrying tourist were inspected resulting in 29 found to be operating without a suitable tourist transport license in hand for their vehicle.
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