Sunday, May 25, 2014

Indonesia: Update--"I've Been Saying it For Years...," Crime in Bali Has Been Rising

According The Jakarta Globe, police have arrested an Indonesian construction worker over a fatal robbery of a British woman in Bali last week, which has sparked demands over the security of foreign tourists on the resort island.

Police said the suspect, identified as Hambali, was arrested in Pluit, North Jakarta, where he had fled after killing Anne Marie Kathryn Drozdz, who was in her 40s.

Bali police general crimes director Sr. Commander Refi Pribadi explained that Hambali was arrested after police traced signals of a cell phone belonging to the victim, which had been stolen by Hambali.

Aside from the mobile phone, Hambali stole a motorcycle and Rp 20 million ($1,720) in cash belonging to Drozdz.

Hambali, a resident of the West Java town of Karawang, is a construction worker who worked near a villa where Drozdz had stayed in Junjungan village in Ubud.

Her body was found on the floor of a bedroom in the villa on Thursday afternoon (May 23) by Gery Hening William, the American husband of the villa’s owner, when he was delivering fresh towels for Drozdz.

Refi said police had suspected that the death had been a result of a crime, as police found dried blood spots on the floor, a rope suspected to have been used to strangulate the victim, and a piece of cloth covering her face when she was found.

Police also found signs of forced entry.

Refi said Hambali might be charged with fatal robbery or premeditated murder. “He could face the death penalty,” Refi said. 

COMMENT: Drozdz’s body has been taken to Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar for an autopsy.

“The forensic team found a graze on the victim’s neck from strangulation and there were bruises on her mouth,” coroner Ida Bagus Putu Alit told THE JAKARTA GLOBE on Friday.

Drozdz’s alleged murder took place less than a week after the death of South Korean national Kim Eun-sol, 19.

Kim died on May 18 after a robber drove up beside her and grabbed her bag while she was riding a motorcycle with her friend, 18-year-old German national Amy Fitria Sidharta.

Ms. Kim was pulled from the motorbike and fell, and was tragically hit by another motorbike and was killed instantly.

Benny said his office had received inquiries concerning Drozdz’s death especially from foreign consulates in Bali, including the British, US, Australian, Chinese and Japanese but he understood their concerns.

“The consulates have complained to us concerning these incidents,” Benny said, as quoted by Indonesian news portal

Complaints also come from the Bali office of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI).

For some time now, an Australian dies every nine days in Bali:

See One Australian dies in Bali every 9 days.