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Reservation Confirmed: Special Corner in Hell

Balinese Woman Caught Using Religious Offerings to Extort Tourists in Kintamani

A Balinese woman and her female accomplice who work selling floral offerings on the side of the road through Hutan Suter in the Regency of Bangli have issued a public apology for harassing passing tourists, coercing them into paying for offerings before allowing them to pass.

As reported by Detik.com and Balipost.com, the woman, Nyoman Widia Ningsih, and an accomplice, Kadek Tirtawati, became known to authorities when Face Book postings highlighting their chicanery.

The two women allegedly would stop passing cars and demand they purchase a “canang sari” offering before being allowed to proceed. The women were reported to tell passing tourists that they were entering a dangerous, haunted area where evil would befall people who failed to purchase their offerings and simple handicraft bracelets.

Responding to the posting on Face Book and comments made on social media, Bangli Regency enforcement officials visited the woman’s home in Banjar Surakarma in Kintamani where she reportedly immediately admitted her wrongdoing.

“I very much regret what I have done and promise I will not create a similar disturbance in the future. Again, I apologize,” Ningsih implored.

Heru Doank reported via his Face Book accounts that he offered Rp. 10,000 to the woman who “guards” the entrance to the Suter Forest in Bangli – an area believed by many to possess sacred and somewhat "dark" mystical powers. The woman refused the money as “too little.” Later, when Heru arrived at the parking area for Bali’s Mother Temple of Besakih, he met other tourists who shared that the same woman extorted as much as Rp. 100,000 per passenger in their vehicle.

When interrogated by police the woman denied asking that large an amount of money. She was issued a formal letter of warning by the Bangli Police and warned to cease her activities considered damaging to Bali’s tourism image.

Police have also promised to tighten patrols of the Hutan Suter Area in Bangli and dismantle all road side stands selling offering to passing tourists.

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