The Bali Police Cyber Unit has launched a covert operation after discovering many people using cryptocurrencies to make transactions on the island. According to Nanang Prihasmoko, the chief in charge of the investigation, officers tracked down a car rental group on Telegram and contacted them as customers interested in renting. After obtaining a wallet address for payment, they set up an appointment to rent a car, which resulted in the arrest of a 33-year-old businessman from Jimbaran.
The businessman was taken into custody at the 'meeting'. Law enforcement agencies seized a mobile phone used for crypto transactions, a Pajero Sport car and a credit card from him. Police also found his account on digital currency platform Indodax, a Telegram profile and screenshots of customer messages. He is now in custody.
Various restaurants, car rentals and real estate agencies in Bali were recently found to be accepting cryptocurrencies as payment instead of Indonesian rupiah, which is illegal in Indonesia and could lead to one year in prison or a fine of 200 million Indonesian rupiahs ($13,337). The Inspector stressed that only the Indonesian rupiah is officially accepted as it is the only legal currency in Indonesia.
The Balinese government has recently announced its intention to crack down on crypto-assets being used in the region. Any foreigner caught using them will face serious consequences, including expulsion from the country.