Friday, November 28, 2014

Indonesia: 121 Foreigners Deported Thus Far in 2014 for Overstaying Tourist Visas

According to, immigration authorities in Bali are cracking down on foreigners working there without the appropriate visas and have arrested four Australians, including one male, who is due to be deported tonight to Australia. 

The Australians are among eleven foreigners taken into custody by the Ngurah rai Immigration office this week during a two-day special operation.

The number of foreigners deported from Bali for visa violations has almost doubled this year compared to last year and authorities have vowed to continue their crackdown.

Three of the four Australians were found teaching in English language schools after entering Indonesia on tourist visas while the fourth was employed at a hotel.

One of them, a 65-year-old former psychiatrist John Peter Domenic Rigano is due to be deported tonight to Australia. After he was found working in a Jimbaran English school while on a tourist visa he was questioned by authorities; it emerged that he had a criminal record in Australia for child sexual abuse of a patient.

He was sentenced to three and a half years jail, suspended after nine months, in 2009 and lost his medical license. Rigano is due to be deported on a flight from Bali, arriving in Brisbane on Saturday morning.

He was detained by immigration authorities on November 11 after they checked for foreigners working at the English Now language course in Jimbaran and was found to be teaching on a tourist visa. Staff had told authorities he was a volunteer.
Detained ... The sun has set on illegal seachanges in Bali.

“Rigano confessed that he had several times committed sexual abuse of children. And was arrested after he conducted sexual violence to a disabled child in Australia,” Mohamad Soleh, from Ngurah rai Immigration office said. “As he has a bad criminal record and for safety and security reasons, we have arrested him in immigration detention center until the time we deport him,” Soleh said. “If he was not detained, we are worried that he can commit other (crimes) in Indonesia.”

Rigano will also be placed on the black list and banned from entering Indonesia for at least six months. 

COMMENT: The three Australians also being investigated are Celina Belle Suhor from Prairie Wood, Steffanie Claire Cater and Jessica Lee Cook from Gosford.

Authorities said Suhor was found teaching at English First, an English course facility in Kuta on November 26 after arriving in Bali on a tourist visa on November 20. 

Cater was also found teaching at English First on the same day. The authorities said that she did have a visa to work, but at a different English school.

Cook was working as operational manager at the Luna Hotel and while she had a work permit the company she was employed, by did not yet have a license to employ foreign workers.

So far Immigration authorities are continuing to investigate the cases and have not detained the three women but have seized their passports and documents.

Along with the Australians, authorities arrested two Americans, one Briton, one Japanese, and four Norwegians.

The operation comes after an earlier operation in which five Turkish citizens were found to be working as wedding photographers while using tourist visas. They are expected to be deported.

Head of the Bali Justice and Human Rights Ministry, Gusti Kompiang Adnyana, said the operation to monitor foreigners’ activity in Bali will continue.

So far in 2014, Immigration has deported 121 foreigners from Bali, mostly for visa violations, compared to 70 last year.

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