The maker of a documentary about the goings-on between Indonesian men and foreign women holidaying in Bali is to be summoned to the island via Interpol, Bali Police said.
Director Amit Virmani, who lives in Singapore, neither had a permit to work in Indonesia when he made the film nor required permission to film in the country, violations that could see him jailed for up to a year and fined, police have said.
Bali Police spokesman Gede Sugianyar said late on Friday: “Amit can be charged with violating Law No 8/1992 on Filming and be sentenced to a maximum jail term of one year and a fine of Rp40 million (US$4,430) in lieu of an additional one year in prison.”
The documentary, Cowboys in Paradise, has already seen authorities round up dozens of local men on Bali’s famous Kuta Beach, suspected of being gigolos and harming the island’s important tourism industry.
The men have since been released, after police said they could not prove they were involved in soliciting sex from tourists.
Governor I Made Mangku Pastika said he feared the documentary, segments of which have been uploaded to YouTube, would damage Bali’s global reputation as a place of innate spirituality and natural beauty.
Sugianyar said that as part of Bali Police’s probe into Virmani, six people involved in the film had been questioned and that police were certain the director had broken Indonesia’s laws.
“We have begun coordinating with the National Police Headquarters (in Jakarta) to have Amit summoned for questioning here,” he said.
He added that the lack of an extradition treaty with Singapore might present difficulties in having the director brought to Bali but that Bali Police were not put off.
“This possible hurdle does not prevent us from building our case against the film director,” he said.