Corrupt police scam

Bali-rip_off-corrupt-policeIf you decide to discover Bali on a small motorbike, be aware that as a tourist you are very likely to be pulled over by the local police, even if you are doing nothing really wrong. They’ll almost certainly find some minor rule that you are breaking, just to be able to issue a ticket. Especially if you’re not wearing a crash helmet, they have something to write you a ticket for, regardless if there are dozens of locals passing the police booth without wearing a helmet and they’re not getting pulled over.

Also read: Police bribes in Bali

The police officers will take you into their booth and explain they will simply write you a ticket for 150.000 to 250.000 Rupiah, and they tell you that they are giving you a break, as they could also have sent you to the police station or even to court in Bali’s capital city Denpasar, where the fine would’ve been much higher. Of course this is just to scare you from objecting to the fine they are about to give you. Or to prevent you from negotiating on the price, which in reality you can and should always do, even with cops.

They will also explain to you, that if you pay directly in cash, the fine will be much lower. Of course, this is not an actual fine, but just a cunningly disguised request for a deposit Bali-scam-corrupt-policeinto the pension fund of the concerning officer. They’ll sometimes even tell you that you don’t need to wear a helmet (or whatever they are giving you the “ticket” for) for the remainder of the day, since you’ve already been fined for that exact offense. But beware that this only applies to their respective stretch of road, if you happen to run into another police officer, the whole charade may start all over again and you’ll help the next officer pay for his rent for the week.

Make sure you always wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle in Bali and always carry some small denomination bills in the local currency Rupiah, to bribe the police officers who are undoubtedly going to pull you over.

Find experiences from real victims or post your own story in our Bali Tourist Scams Forum.

Watch this video from a Dutch undercover reporter, the cop uses his bribe to buy them both beers and they drink them together in the police booth:


  1. Drew Yardley says:

    Hi. I was also ripped off by a corrupt police officer today. He told me that I went through a red light which is rubbish as I most definitely did not. He said I could come back to his station or pay a fine on the spot. He initially asked for 500,000 IDR but I didn’t have that much, I paid 200,000. Of course no receipt was given. It has put a damper on my experience here.

    • Nurul Asma Johari says:

      I have been scammed of 1 milion rupiah in Bali on my 2nd day. Fucking corrupted police officers! Will never come here again!

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