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ExpatSingapore Message Board 22 October 2017, 19:36:52 PM *
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Author Topic: Harassment by corrupt immigration staff at Batam, Indonesia  (Read 36395 times)
Notocorruption
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« on: 27 May 2012, 10:49:30 AM »
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After reaching Batam center for immigration, the indonesian immigration staff allowed me in (I hold Singapore passport), but they stopped my sister who has Indian passport and started going round and round from room to room (for money) and we followed them. They did not ask money. But they were holding her passport and said something like “passing visa” not available. That was  "Bullshxx" She had valid visa (for USD10), valid passport, valid return ticket.  I got annoyed and argued with them for sometime. But they can not speak english (were they pretending??)
They talk in Indonesian we talk in english. There was one passenger from India, who was also stopped and they demanded SGD200 from him. I said, I will NOT give any money. Finaly he said, you go back to Singapore and gave the passport to Batam ferry staff. He also started going round and round and we followed him. He refused to give her passport, but I can not understand what he says in Indo. Then I took my mobile and said, I will call police. Then he brought another ferry staff who could speak english and told me, to stay there and he will bring back the passport. I also agreed to give my passport. I think, he went for immigration “check-out” stamp. Then gave her passport to ferry captain. When all the passengers got in, he gave the passport to us.

After reaching Singapore immigration at Harbour front, I informed the office about the incident, but he said, he can not do anything, as it is Indonesian side.

I WILL NEVER GOTO INDONESIA AGAIN !!!  (I told this to Indonesian immigration staff also, but he was least bothered)
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Mob
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« Reply #1 on: 27 May 2012, 12:44:19 PM »
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I once went and bought my visa-on-arrival. I'd gotten plenty of rupiah the day before, so gave the admin lady the rupiah for the cost of the visa she'd just prepared.

Problem was, she insisted on getting USD. I said, no need, I have rupiah here, its YOUR currency! But she still insisted on getting paid in USD.

After a deadlock, 2 stern-looking uniformed chaps joined her cubicle and words were exchanged amongst them - in Bahasa of course.

When I saw these 2 chaps enter the fray, I'd decided to capitulate, gave the lady my USD. The exchange rate she gave me was daylight robbery, so then I understood why she insisted on USD.

They're mafia, plain and simple. Shame really, because their country is lovely. Hopefully they'll sort out these corruption issues.
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Malaysia
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« Reply #2 on: 27 May 2012, 22:56:10 PM »
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Another reason why we prefer going to Malaysia. Just as beautiful, just as  much to do, but so much safer and a lot less corruption.
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are you sure
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« Reply #3 on: 27 May 2012, 23:22:01 PM »
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about that?

Both places corrupt as far as I can see just different areas

Been caught in Indo (Bali) with passport that was 3 days short of required 6 months. Yes, my oversight but immigration took my passport took me into a very smokey room full of guys and started lots of tutting and shaking heads. They suggested I go back to SIng to renew my passport. After making me sweat for a while they then suggested I pay them approx $250USD.
 
Stopped while driving in Bali too. I had an international license but they didn't like the look of that for whatever reason (the car rental co didn't have a problem) It was outside the Oberoi, where I was not staying but they obviously thought as I was close to it I must be loaded so after looking  at my passport and license they decided they were going to keep it unless I could pay them approx $200USD. I had to go to an ATM while they followed me. Had the same at an airport check in too. Had some large packages for "cargo" and was asked to place cash inside my passport and hand it over!!! Love the place but do get a bit fed up with all the nonsense.


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Joseph27
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« Reply #4 on: 29 May 2012, 12:27:38 PM »
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Indonesia used to have one big tree of corruption where everything was focused around the government (i.e. Suharto) -  it now has many trees and everyone has their hand out for money.  Indonesia is an expensive place to live and Indonesian wages are not livable wages.  Not saying what these people do is acceptable because it isn't but we should understand the motive.  The person at the counter at immigration would probably earn less than 2million a month - $200USD and have to feed their families, send their kids to school, pay bribes to the school teacher and principal who are in the same position.     

It doesn't matter where you are in Jakarta now - everyone has a hand out asking for more.... the policeman, the Doctor, the university lecturer, it doesnt matter what the profession is.   You see the motorbike stings they set up - they are incredible - all the bikes get pulled over and everyone gets bitten so the group of police earn a nice bonus.  When you park your car, the Sapam gets a note everytime a car exits and at the end of the month these payments will dramatically eclipse his wage.  Even the guy helping you park (mr Kiri Kanan) will end up paying rent on a space - a bribe. 

On the plus side - Indonesia has a very young population, it has impressive growth and it will keep growing for a long time so Singapore can keep expecting their banks to be filled with money from ilgotten sources in Indonesia.   

As for immigration - have US dollars, make it easy for these guys to put through the passport,  coming back to Singapore in this case benefits no one.   Last time I left Jakarta I realized I had miscalculated my exit visa by a day - my mistake but I had to say sorry, make i easy and pay the man. 
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corruptandintimidating
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« Reply #5 on: 01 June 2012, 14:19:02 PM »
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We have been to Bintan a few times and we almost always get approached by an officer, smiling telling us he will take us through immigration. We always say no because last year we accepted and then he demanded money the other side. We gave it as we felt intimidated with 2 small kids under 3. Now we just avoid eye contact and my husband politely says no. They usually persist for some time but we just look away. I am totally put off going there too. We went recently and was approached again. I do not think we are going to go again.
TBH it's a pretty crap place anyway. For the same amount of $ you can go to Phuket where you are welcome and no one is intimidating you.
They are corrupt and no one does anything about it.
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Bad Luck?
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« Reply #6 on: 04 June 2012, 14:03:40 PM »
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I've been to Jakarta 20+ times, Bali 5 times, Bintan 5-6 times, and Surabaya once.

Never had anything like this happen.  Just normal immigration and passport checks, I've paid for my visa on arrival in IDR (not USD), etc.

I am sure this stuff does happen.  I am just saying, for the benefit of those reading this that have never been to Indo, it's not automatic or very frequent or I surely would have experienced it once or twice.
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Passport please
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« Reply #7 on: 04 June 2012, 14:48:52 PM »
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OP's name: Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
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Hotel Service
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« Reply #8 on: 04 June 2012, 15:35:00 PM »
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Whenever I have visited Jakarta I have always been fast tracked through immigration by an employee of the Hotel where I have a reservation.
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Notocorruption
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« Reply #9 on: 05 June 2012, 8:34:44 AM »
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@Bad Luck?

What passport do you hold? I think, they target certain profiles only. Did you go alone or with family?
They did not stop me, but my sister who holds Indian passport
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Bad Luck?
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« Reply #10 on: 05 June 2012, 12:42:59 PM »
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American, traveling alone or occasionally with Singaporean wife.
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old hand
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« Reply #11 on: 08 June 2012, 2:45:34 AM »
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Another reason why we prefer going to Malaysia. Just as beautiful, just as  much to do, but so much safer and a lot less corruption.

your statement is untrue. Malaysia is full of corruption too!
Policeman when you drive there from Singapore in want of a cash handout
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batam2013
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« Reply #12 on: 03 November 2013, 15:33:20 PM »
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The same happened to me although I was traveling alone and they refused my entry. I got in at 9AM Indonesia time and was back on a ferry to Singapore at 3PM. They just pulled me to the side and refused to tell me why for the first 3 hours. The guy from the resort I was staying at tried to help me out but the head guy there, a guy they call Ipong, was having none of it - he was arrogant and threatened to call security on me when I asked for an explanation. I will never go back again - I can't believe those guys!
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Cai Y
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« Reply #13 on: 26 August 2014, 23:45:43 PM »
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I regret not reading up on this before going to Batam. My family (husband, mum and baby and I) just got deported back from Batam.

The custom officer claimed that my husband who is a Thai needed a return ticket back to his home country from Singapore. I mean he has a return ferry ticket from Batam to Singapore. Whether he has a return ticket from Singapore to Thailand, that's the business of Singapore customs to deal with, let them do their job.

So the customs officer called an older female officer to assist and he got pulled aside to the room. My husband was standing with arm crossed and replying the woman's questions. And she just kept saying 'bad attitude, you're going back'. And then he was escorted by another officer to the departure section. My mum and I followed as no way we are staying in Batam without my husband.

A guy in orange saying he is just the ferry agent arranged the return tickets for us.

I had a hunch that the customs officers wanted some bride money but I didn't think it would really be the case until I started googling upon reaching Singapore.

I think we had 2 choices, pay the ferry guy SGD$47 for our return tickets or give a bride of SGD$50 to stay in Batam.

Whatever the case is, Batam is off our list and perhaps the entire Indonesia too. Sorry about that.

It is truly disappointing, not that we can't enjoy our holiday but that the Batam I once knew and visited before is no longer the same. I would definitely warn others of the danger of visiting such a place as this.
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Victory Rider
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« Reply #14 on: 09 February 2015, 12:19:28 PM »
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Similar thing happened to us on-the-way to Singapore,

An Indian Immigration "Lady" looked at my wife passport and asked.... why your name is "jansen" (this is a sample name)  my wife answers; coz I am married and follow my husbands name....

"Lady" asks, can I see your IC ? My wife says, my IC is not an travel document, my passport is, sorry i will not show any documentation including driving-license to enter S'pore....

"Lady" asks, is that your Husband? can I see his passport? Wife answers, sure ask him maybe?
"Lady" asked in public & very loud "sir could i see your passport" ? i answer sure mate, euuu "lady" so she sees the same surname and hold up MY passport and speaks again very public and loud; THE NAME IN THIS PASSPORT IS THAT YOUR WIFE NAME ?? Of course i answer NO sir, euuuu "Lady" that is NOT my wife name, I also speaks very loud and in public..... the 100 people all stop and turn heads to see what happens next ?

I speak very LOUD to explain my answer; My passport states My name.... Her passport states Her name, please hold-up my wife passport and ask me the same question maybe??? so not everybody name is Ching-chong or Mr. Sing?

But if your are interested learning something on the second page of my passport states the name of my wife, that is by-the-way the same name that is stated in Her passport, does this answer all your questions?

HAHAHA sooo funny, all immigration was laughing to that "lady" HAHAHAH

needles to say we were very welcomed into S'pore with a big smile....

There are sooooo many illegal workers in batam that they are actually trying to do something about this...... sorry for your bad experience....

My Singaporean ex-wife got striped-searched in the 90's at the Malaysian border.... her bag was full of schoolbooks..... that is not an nice experience for a schoolgirl.....

I parked my S'pore car in JB next to another 20 cars, and I got a parking ticket ... asked the copper why and he said, coz of your plate ....
Soooo I went to see a biker-cop and talked to him, he agreed to meet me on "the bridge" and i pay HALF of the ticket CASH and he will give me all the receipts....
THERE IS GOOD CORRUPTION ALSO I THINK, hahahah

I lived in Far-east-plaza apartments for 2 years and when I picked-up my car I did-not understand the OLD ERP system with the stickers behind your window..... so in 1 day I got 9 traffic tickets..... the company wrote a nice letter to the traffic police and needed to show my face on the traffic office, everybody could see the humor of this situation, and i did not have to pay any fines, if i promised to to wash my brand-new-car that was covered in MUD as i worked in all the reclamation area's

have a great day and don't take life so serious ??

Ohhh and "OP" how can you be Singaporean and NOT speak any Malay ?
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