An officer at Indonesia’s Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport is facing allegations of extorting money from a Taiwanese tourist who took a photo on his phone of the queues in the customs area.
The tourist had arrived at the airport for a holiday earlier this week and allegedly took out his phone to capture a long queue ahead of him at the customs area to notify his driver who was waiting to pick up his group of tourists, Coconuts Bali reported.
However, the Taiwanese tourist claimed that a customs officer approached him and told him that taking photos in the area was prohibited.
The officer then brought him to a room for interrogation, where he was allegedly told he would be sent back to his home country. The official then said the other option was a $4,000 fine.
The tourist pretended that he did not have that much money and managed to haggle the fine down to $270.
The tourist then shared his experience at Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport on social media, which quickly caught public attention.
In a statement on Thursday, the Indonesian Ministry of Finance’s Directorate General of Customs and Excise said it did not believe the alleged extortion took place in the customs area of the airport, news site Tempo.co reported.
Hatta Wardhana, head of the Sub-Directorate of Public Relations and Customs Counselling, said taking photos in the area of the airport regulated by law and deportations do not come under the authority of customs.
The Indonesian authorities are investigating the incident.
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