Police arrest 2 men in Ubud for alleged money changer scam

Rupiah notes. Photo: Gianyar Police
Rupiah notes. Photo: Gianyar Police

Police in Bali’s Gianyar regency on Saturday arrested two men in Ubud for an alleged money changer scam, following a report from a foreign tourist. 

The men, identified by their initials KD and KUA, were arrested on Saturday. According to a statement issued by the police, their money changer business was located on Jalan Monkey Forest.

A foreign tourist reportedly went to them to exchange US$800 with an IDR13,725 exchange rate per dollar. The tourist should have received IDR10,980,000, but was instead only given IDR8,080,000, which he discovered upon returning to the hotel and doing another count of the money. 

The tourist then went back to the money changer and reported the matter to the local pecalang (traditional Balinese security forces), who then referred the case to the Gianyar Police. 

According to a report from Tribun, KD and KUA have worked at the money changer for about a month, where they managed to scam at least 10 foreign tourists, though previously at much smaller amounts. 

Deni Septiawan, who heads the crimes unit at the Gianyar Police, said that the money changer where the suspects had worked has now been sealed up because it was operating without permit. 

“This is one of several unlicensed money changers in Ubud. We will coordinate with the regional government and Bank Indonesia to put things into order,” Deni said. 

He also noted how foreign tourists should pay attention to where they exchange their money and choose money changers with official permits, and suggested that the exchanged money should be counted right after they receive it. 

Earlier this month, the Bali chapter of the Foreign Exchange Association (APVA) found at least a dozen suspected fake money changers operating in Ubud.

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