Indonesia Will Close Entrance for Troublemaking Foreigners, Says Luhut Pandjaitan

The Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, lamented the recent uptick of crimes and misconduct by foreigners in Indonesia.

Speaking with the press on Wednesday, the 15th of May, in Nusa Dua, Badung Regency, Bali, Pandjaitan asserted that foreigners in Indonesia who are looking to make trouble, namely abusing their stay permit in the country, abusing their investor visa, or engaging in illegal drug-related activities, would be subjected to firm action by the government and the authorities.

“Once I find you committing any misconduct, I will shut it down,” said Pandjaitan about the troublemaking foreigners. “No more will you be allowed to enter Indonesia.”

Pandjaitan also made a specific remark regarding the rising number of foreign tourists in Bali who have been caught either hustling as online gambling dealers or distributing drugs. He further asked for the police to take firm action against such tourists as well.

“I propose anyone who creates chaos in our country, the foreign tourists who may toy around with drugs or online gambling or rampage, not be allowed to enter Indonesia anymore,” Pandjaitan asserted.

Pandjaitan added that he was keen on meeting with the chief general of the Indonesian police (Kapolri Jenderal Polisi) to work on a policy to deal with the drug-dealing foreigners in Indonesia. He would also like the police to keep in mind the current investment climate in Indonesia.

“People would be comfortable coming to Indonesia if they feel secure, if they are protected from misconducts such as drugs,” Pandjaitan concluded.

Pandjaitan’s remarks resonated with the arrest made by the authorities that took place on Thursday, the 2nd of May. Several Russians and Ukrainians in Bali were detained by the police after having been caught manufacturing drugs and hydroponic marijuana. These foreigners were also caught abusing what was supposed to be an investor visa. The data from the Bali provincial branch of the Ministry of Laws and Human Rights noted that 340 foreigners were deported from Bali throughout the year 2023 — an upward tick compared to the year 2022. Most of the deportation cases during the previous year were related to either overstaying or criminal charges.