Ms Chocaholic with lots of opinions and an attitude

Monday, August 31, 2009

Scam. Nay. Extortion at Jakarta airport!!

As I mentioned, with much enthusiam, that my brother flew out all the way to spend a couple of nights with me in Jakarta. Was an all happy event, despite the limited time we had together, given I still had to continue with meetings in JKT.

He left very early Sunday morning, while I had taken the flight back to Sydney the night prior. As he was flying out to Penang, there was only one very very early morning flight.

He got to the airport, checked in, and was alerted by airline staff that he seem to not have his departure card. He duely filled in a new form and proceeded to Immigration.

This was where the drama began. The officer made a lot of noise about him having 'lost' his Departure card, proceeding to tell him it was a criminal offense. BLAH! of course its important, but we all have made that mistake before, and as long as you have the arrival stamp in your passport, and can prove you entered the country legally, it really should not be such a big deal.

Well, not to these unscrupulous immigration officers (by then the guy that was dealing with my brother had created enough commotion to draw other officers to the counter - I believe its their intimidation strategy). The airport was almost empty, devoid of any other witnesses. Anyhow, they proceeded to threaten my brother with jail term, talking about taking him to the police station and holding him there. While he knew he wouldnt really go to jail for such a trivial mistake, he also knew these guys would hold him at the airport long enough to make him miss his flight.

They then started talking about how they can "HELP" him. RIGHT, help! The nerve they have! Im sure you know the rest. We can help you, but its a serious offense, we will need some money to get this done. blah blah blah.

In his tired state, and wanting to just get out of there, my brother gave them whatever Rupiah he had left on him (which in itself was a fair bit), but made the mistake of not thinking straight, and overlooking the fact that there was also USD in his wallet. So turned out to be a very expensive trip to Jakarta for him!

If he had realised how much money it ended up being, I figure he would have opted to miss the flight. Getting a new ticket would have been cheaper, and certainly less maddening than having to part with so much money for these unscrupulous type!

I know theres nothing that we can really do anymore. Complaining to the Consulate will achieve nothing. HOwever, I do hope to spread the word out as much as possible, so Im hoping my friends that read this blog post will help me spread the word around.


  • Wow! That was crazy and shaeful. I can't believe Indonesian immigation officials dared to do that in an international terminal! Unbelievable.. Please allow me to share your blogpost into my FB wall. So that people are alerted. My goodness!!

    By Anonymous Anung, At 4:39 pm  

  • I visited Jakarta approximately 2 months ago and exactly the same thing happened to me.
    When I handed my passport to the ticketing ladies they actually "lost" my departure card.
    When I got to immigration they used the same tactics but I was able to go back to the ticketing counter where they advised me just to fill in another card.
    I went back to immigration and he wanted to call his supervisor saying I had brooke his country's laws, etc but I went back to the ticketing counter and made such a scene that they "found" my card on the ground.
    I believe they pick on people who are alone and who they observe may have worthwhile amounts of money.
    Luckily I escaped the predicament but an old guy who saw me later explained how the same thing happened to him but because he was with 4 other people immigration just let him fill out another card and he went straight through.
    It was a very unpleasant experience so hang on to your outgoing card.

    By Anonymous Jeff, At 10:16 am  

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