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Webs Woven in Deception

Owner of Errant Best Western Kuta Reports Legislator for Extortion

(11/25/2012) The chairman of the Indonesian Advocates Association for Bali (Ikadin-Bali), I Made Suardana, is urging the Bali police to urgently identify an individual identified only by the letter “P” said to be a member of the Badung House of Representatives and involved in a reported case of extortion against the owner of troubled Best Western Kuta Hotel (Sapta Petala Inn).

As reported by Radar Bali, IKADIN's call to action mirrors the same demand made by the Indonesian Police Watch (IPE) for authorities to break open the case.

When contacted on November 22, Suardana urged the police to be transparent and not be selective in enforcing the law or handling the corruption case being handled by the Criminal Division of the Bali police.
In urging the police to be objective, Suardana also urged investigators to resist intervention from any source, fighting hard to preserve the public’s trust in the justice system.

Continuing, he urged to police to ignore the position of “P” as a legislator and have the courage to name him as a suspect if the evidence supports such a charge.

The complicated case of the Best Western Kuta had, until this most recent development, disappeared from public view. The Best Western Kuta, formerly operated as the Sapta Petala, was built without the required building and operating licenses in an area of Kuta zoned exclusively for single occupancy family dwellings.

Despite these many shortcoming and an official criminal complaint files by the Badung officials against the hotel and its owner, the hotel continues to operate under the Best Western banner.

Radar Bali broke the most recent development in the Best Western case in which the owner of the hotel was reportedly asked for Rp. 250 million (US$26,000) by a Badung House of Representative member.

As reported by the newspaper, the payment by Wijana, the owner of the hotel, was to take place in two installments of Rp. 100 million and Rp. 150 million. Wijana reported the request for corrupt payments to the Bali police, including payment and transfer receipts, and CCTV recording of a meeting with the extortionist.

Upon receiving the criminal report, the police summoned an assistant of the accused legislator in order to assist their investigations. The assistant told police that the money paid by Wijana was delivered to “P.”

The criminal division of the Bali police, however, is refusing to comment on the case or name a suspect in the investigation.

At the same time, the police are also refusing to disclose any developments in the long-standing criminal complaint filed by the Regent of Badung in June 2011 against Wijana for building his hotel in violation of the 2007 zoning law. A police spokesman responded to requests from Radar Bali for development in both cases by declaring that full reports on the cases have yet to be processed.

The information provided to the police includes receipts for Rp. 250 million paid in the case. There is also a photocopy of a transfer of Rp. 150 million from CIMB Niaga. 

The receipts show Rp. 250 million being paid by Jay to Jimmy, the latter apparently on the staff of a property and contracting company – PT Kubu Buana Cemerlang (KBC). The subject receipt also says the money was used to organize permits and licenses for the Sapta Petala Kuta on Jalan Kubu Anyar in Kuta, Bali.

Efforts by Radar Bali to contact Wijana for comment on the case have reportedly been unsuccessful.

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