Car Rental Owner Arrested In Bali For Accepting Crypto Payments

Bali police have arrested a car rental owner in the state for accepting payments in crypto assets. The arrest came after the state government warned against using cryptocurrencies as payment options for any transaction.

Bali Police Worked Undercover To Arrest Car Rental Business Owner

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

The Bali Police’s Cyber Unit started its investigations following increasing reports of people using crypto assets for transactions in the state. These include businesses like car rentals, cafes, hotels, property agencies, and others.

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

The police then requested TS’s crypto wallet address for rental payment and set a physical meeting to conclude all arrangements.  Finally, the police arrested the car rental owner at the point of the meeting.

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

According to Nanang, using any other currency for payments or financial obligations except the Indonesian rupiah violates Indonesian law. Offenders of such law could face one-year imprisonment and a penalty fine of IDR 200 million.

Bali Warned Against Using Crypto For Payments

The government of Bali has previously warned against the use of cryptocurrencies for payments in the region. In a statement by Bali Governor Wayan Koster, the ban on crypto payments cuts across different areas such as shopping, accommodations, restaurants, rentals, and other activities.

The governor mentioned that anyone caught in the act would be strictly punished and the penalty could even include a forceful closure of the offenders’ businesses in the state.

Furthermore, Governor Koster extended the warning against crypto use to tourists and other foreigners within the island state. He said the state has zero tolerance for violating laws and improper actions from tourists. According to the governor, foreigners violating Balian laws could face deportation,  sanctions, or penalty fines.

Indonesia only encourages the use of its local currency, the Indonesian rupiah. It is the only legal tender permitted for conducting transactions in the country.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from TradingView

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