Car rental owner arrested in Bali for accepting cryptocurrency payments

The police in Bali have arrested the owner of a car rental service in the state for accepting payments in cryptocurrency. The arrest was made after the state government warned against using cryptocurrency as a payment option for any transaction.

Bali Police Worked Undercover To Arrest Car Rental Business Owner

While posing as customers, Bali police agents arrested an individual identified as TS (33) on May 29 in Jimbaran, Badung, Bali, Indonesia.

The Bali Police Cyber Unit initiated investigations after receiving reports of people using cryptocurrency for transactions in the state. The businesses involved include car rentals, cafes, hotels, property agencies, and others.

The Chief of the Crime Investigation Unit, Nanang Prihasmoko, spoke to CNN Indonesia about the arrest. He stated that the police contacted the suspect as a potential renter by infiltrating a car rental group on Telegram.

The police then requested TS’s cryptocurrency wallet address for rental payment and set up a physical meeting to finalize all arrangements. The car rental owner was arrested by the police at the meeting.

Prihasmoko revealed that TS had started accepting cryptocurrency payments from foreigners on the island three months ago. Following his arrest, the police seized some of his assets, including his mobile phone used for cryptocurrency transactions. They also seized an Indodax account, a Pajero Sport vehicle, his ATM card, a Telegram account, and Telegram screenshots.

Using any currency for payments or financial obligations other than the Indonesian rupiah violates Indonesian law, according to Nanang. Offenders could face up to one year imprisonment and a penalty fine of IDR 200 million.

Bali Warned Against Using Crypto For Payments

The Bali government has previously warned against using cryptocurrency for payments in the region. Bali Governor Wayan Koster stated that the ban on cryptocurrency payments applies to shopping, accommodations, restaurants, rentals, and other activities.

The governor said that anyone caught using cryptocurrency would be punished, and the penalty could even include the forced closure of their businesses in the state.

Governor Koster extended the warning against cryptocurrency use to tourists and foreigners within Bali. He said the state has zero tolerance for violating laws and improper actions from tourists. Foreigners violating Balinese laws could face deportation, sanctions, or penalty fines.

Indonesia only recognizes the Indonesian rupiah as the legal tender for conducting transactions in the country.

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