Saturday, 2 May 2009

Bali Discovery Tours - Bali's nastiest travel agents?

Bali Discovery Tours - Bali's nastiest travel agents?
By Bali BS News
Aug 16, 2005, 08:41

If you have already been exposed to the 3 year old argument, did Bali based John M. AKA Jack Daniels (CEO of PT Bali Discovery Tours) file the original police complaint, made to the then chief of police himself, Budi Setywan, which ended up in an unlawful investigation against one foreign based Mark Austin, you may be a tad tired of hearing about it. But hold on, we are going to look differently at this case and show that the original complaint pales into insignificance in comparison with the brazen actions of Jack Daniels against his competitor, including self professed / confessed collusion, and an apparent attempt to motivate the police to have Mark Austin shot for espionage! While, at the same time, it is clear Mr. Daniels likely made a telephone death threat against Mr. Austin. No, do not baulk, we have seen documented evidence of these things of which we report.

The short background of this and the original police complaint is that Mark Austin caught Jack Daniels and his company (Bali Discovery Tours) offering unauthorized Internet hotel room rates and publicly forced Mr. Daniels to remove them, who was clearly very unhappy about this. Shortly after this came the Bali bombing and a brief visit to the island by Mark Austin after hotel contacts of his reported that security on Bali was then so tight at the ports, you could not smuggle a fire cracker into Bali, let alone another bomb. Mark Austin found the reverse was true, then once he left Indonesia and upon his return home, he sent his business contacts a well intentioned and very well received email, informing them of this. You can read this email and more about the events on Mark Austin’s warning site (about Jack Daniels) on

When Mark Austin next returned to Bali the police were waiting for him. Without charge, they unlawfully seized his passport and detained him for several days. Even the legal cause for investigation stated by the police was bogus; they said they were investigating Mr. Austin under the Bali Recovery Program; a set of economic measures from the government to help the tourism industry after the bombings, which gave no such extra powers to the police. But then, as we have reported before, the police do not need a legitimate cause to act against people in Bali. Anyway, the 3 year old argument is; “Did Jack Daniels file the complaint with then police chief Budi Setywan?” You see, the only protection program in Indonesia is the police complainant protection program, where people who make police complaints are meant to have their identities protected! Amazingly, Indonesia has no witness protection program, hmmmm. This question becomes quite poignant in that Jack Daniels actually then confesses he made a later police complaint against Mark Austin for criminal libel (and the rest) for publishing that it was him who made the first complaint! Although, the really interesting stuff comes after you consider whether Jack Daniels did or did not make the first complaint. So let us answer that question first…..

Yes, Jack Daniels clearly did make the first complaint, despite the fact that the police complainant protection program may mean it will never be confirmed officially, which is part of the irony which allowed Jack Daniels to make his second complaint! Jack Daniels de facto denied it by saying “No evidence exists”, which is most likely a careful way of saying “Because of the Indonesian police complainant protection program, no evidence can exist”. But Mark Austin says he was shown the police investigation file and was told by the police it was Jack Daniels (a normal trick by Indonesian police to potentially open up more extortion opportunities through retaliation), plus Mr. Austin has two signed statements from others and three witnesses basically attesting to the same. Jack clearly had the motivation after he was humiliatingly forced to remove certain room rates from his web site. Jack also was in direct contact with police chief Setywan at the exact time the complaint was made, courtesy of Jack’s Bali Security Workshop at which Budi Setywan was to be the main speaker. Finally, the police file, as witnessed by several people, contained a hand written post it note in English reportedly from Jack speculating as to which flight Mark Austin would be arriving on, and a copy Mr. Austin’s email with the printed header “John M. Daniels” at the top. We think that is evidence enough, n'est pas?

So Jack Daniels is clearly lying about his involvement in the original complaint. But what he does then defies belief and shows Mr. Daniels to be one of the nastiest people in the world, let alone Bali. Once the British Embassy in Jakarta confirmed the police investigation, etc. was illegal and had the British Consulate in Bali contact the police and ask them what was going on, the police suddenly returned Mr. Austin’s passport and let him go. Having been told and seen clear evidence it was Jack Daniels colluding with police chief Budi Setywan who instigated this unlawful investigation against him, Mark Austin quite understandably published the facts on the Internet, as Mr. Daniels refused to answer any email from Mark regarding why he did it. It seems obvious that Jack Daniels had made his nasty, revengeful complaint in the belief no-one would know who was responsible because of the complainant protection program. Unfortunately for Jack, what he probably did not know about the “name the complainant” trick by corrupt Indonesian police to create even more extortion opportunity. Nasty business huh?

Jack Daniels holds himself out to be the pillar of Balinese business ethics and decency, so these published details of his very nasty act were going to do him no favours if he let them be. However, instead of trying to pacify Mr. Austin or even so much as to respond to Mark’s emails, Jack Daniels decided to show his true colours. During the several months after Mark Austin published details of Jack Daniels' acts, Jack clearly did some research as to what he could do within the corrupt police and judiciary system in Indonesia. What Jack Daniels ended up doing, he little doubt thought, solved his resultant PR, ethics and credibility problem by further abusing that same Balinese police authority. But look closely, and you will see what he also unwittingly did was predict that the police would act unlawfully against Mr. Austin through collusion. And when you get to the outcome of Mr. Daniels’ and his “friends” actions, it becomes apparently very clear that Mr. Daniels is likely a dangerous psychotic who intended and would like to have Mr. Austin killed.

You see, Mr. Daniels solution to the problem of Mark Austin naming him as the original complainant was to publish a defamatory article in June 2003 about Mr. Austin, basically calling him a criminal, when Mr. Austin was and is not. In that article, Jack Daniels also stated and therefore foolishly predicted that the police would take a sealed complaint from him against Mr. Austin, containing details of alleged multiple crimes by Mr. Austin including criminal defamation against him, and that the police would not act until they could get their hands a hold of Mark. That is, the police would take a sealed envelope without knowing the details therein and entrap Mark Austin before knowing why. Incredible? What is worrying is that Jack Daniels clearly was mad enough to publish such a prediction. But what is truly incredible is that the prediction became true, proving Jack Daniels' "boast" that the police would act unlawfully against Mark Austin through collusion, at his bequest. And what really makes this all so unsavory are the other criminal complaints Jack published he was making, yet clearly was too embarrassed to disclose what they were. You see these other complaints make it become all too clear that Mr. Daniels wanted to have Mr. Austin killed.

Mark Austin had a Balinese lawyer go to the police to see if this second complaint existed and if the police really were going to investigate an alleged case of civil libel as criminal defamation as Jack Daniels had stated; criminal libel is reserved for serious defamations that affect the state of Indonesia. The police continually reported for months to Mark Austin’s lawyer that no such investigation existed, but Mr. Austin did not trust the police and particularly so because Jack Daniels had stated it was to be a “sealed complaint”; silly boy Jack.

Some 6 months after Jack said he was going to give the police that sealed envelope, another matter forced Mr. Daniels into disclosing the receipt number he was given for it! This allowed Mark Austin’s lawyer to track down the police officer attached to that receipt number, who refused to meet with Mark’s lawyer but the very next day opened that envelope and progressed the complaint into an investigation, as he had promised Jack Daniels, and issued a summons against Mr. Austin! Collusion proven, but wait until you here what the summons contained!

First, the summons demanded Mark Austin appeared at Bali police HQ within 7 days and at his own expense! Which Mr. Austin could not have met even if he wanted to, which he obviously most certainly did not want to either when you read what the summons contained. Although the summons declared a police investigation into criminal libel against Jack Daniels, it also carried the criminal code for spying, which carries the death penalty! Jack Daniels had clearly made a complaint that Mark Austin was a spy; this is a recorded fact.

Coincidently or perhaps not, at the same time Mr. Austin says he received a telephone death threat on what was a computer phone line at his home in Phuket, Thailand. Mr. Austin could not work out how the person had got that number for him as he never used that particular phone line for anything but his computer modem, and never gave the number out. But gradually the coin dropped. He says he earlier received a phone call on that same phone number claiming to be from Airborne Express, and that they said the number was the one listed by the telephone authority for Thailand for that address. When the parcel they said they needed to deliver from Bali never came, Mark Austin called Airborne Express but they knew nothing about it. Mr. Austin had a local lawyer investigate the calls he had received with the phone company and the police, as clearly someone making death threats had his address. Unfortunately, the telephone system in Thailand is mostly archaic, and neither the death threat nor the Airborne Express call could be traced. Mr. Austin never received any phone calls before these on that number, except for wrong numbers, and never received any after. Hmmm.

Then “coincidently” Mr. Austin received a WIPO complaint notification regarding the use of his former warning site domain name, as Jack Daniels’ company claimed to have a Trademark which made that domain their intellectual property. Jack had claimed this before at the WIPO and lost, because he did not have a Trademark at that time. But this time he had his Trademark, and amazingly this allowed him to make a second WIPO complaint against Mr. Austin, and demanded be transferred to him. Although a WIPO complaint certainly does not require people to be traced to their home address, Mr. Daniels declared he had done just this in his complaint, through friends of his in Bangkok clearly in an attempt to legitimize his actions. So it seems clear the call falsely claiming to be from Airborne Express and the death threat could have come from no other than Jack Daniels and / or his friend in Bangkok! Mr. Daniels has, we understand, baulked at the suggestion he provide phone company statements of overseas phone calls made from his house, office and mobile number on the day of the death threat. Bear in mind, this phone call almost exactly coincided with when the police showed their designs to have Mr. Austin executed for spying. Hmmmm.

Having seen the evidence, the statements, the summons and the translations, it is clear to us Mr. Daniels is not just the nastiest travel agent in Bali as Mark Austin claims. We believe these very nasty acts and other tell tale signs of madness, show Jack Daniels to be a dangerous psychotic. It is also amazing, when Mark Austin reported this weight of evidence to PATA, the travel association for SE Asia to do something about Mr. Daniels, a former Chairman of the Bali Chapter of PATA and ongoing “hob nobber” with the management of PATA HQ, under their published member code of conduct. PATA not only failed to do anything, but also subsequently and apparently dropped their membership conduct code! Hmmmmm! For more details, see out previous article about PATA.

Mark Austin, who is married to a Balinese girl says he has since even been advised by the Indonesian Embassy in Portugal no less, not to travel to Bali until after he has had the police investigations closed; warning enough we guess. He also says one of the main reasons for leaving Thailand was his fear that Jack Daniels might be so deranged as to actually pay a Thai assassin to kill him, as such murders are fairly commonplace in that country. Mr. Austin believes because he has decided to fight Jack Daniels and the Bali police tooth and nail, he has since found out that the Balinese police have placed him on Interpol’s watch list as a suspected insurgent or spy! If this sounds too far fetched to be true whilst still allowing the notion of Mr. Austin’s innocence, you had better read our report: Interpol Fraud Abuse.

Mr. Austin has not been able to go to Bali for nearly 3 years to see his family & friends, or to bring business to Bali. All because of these unlawful police actions in collusion with Jack Daniels, despite the fact the main police officer involved, one Tri Kuncoro, is currently being investigated by the Indonesian Commission for Corruption Reduction for his role in the Candi Internet Bali affair. Although Mark has no high hopes of due process occurring there because the way the commission has been set up, it seems to be more an International PR exercise than moves to actually curb corruption; read our report Indonesian Corruption Commission. Mark has himself filed a commission complaint against officer Tri Kuncoro, former police chief Budi Setywan, police detectives chief Kombes Boy Salamudin and of course, Jack Daniels. In addition to this, Mark is currently trying to sue American Jack Daniels in the USA, although Jack is trying hard to avoid this; see report: Jack Daniels Bali. You see if Mark gets Jack in the USA, there is a good chance he can use that case to have Mr. Daniels jailed in Indonesia.

Mark Austin says he is in this for the long run, that he will see it through no matter what it takes to bring these people to true justice. All we can say is good luck to him; maybe he will do us all a favour and have Jack jailed. Perhaps even, have the colluding Balinese police officers thrown in the clink as well, to serve as a lesson to all businessmen and police officers in Bali, so hopefully no-one else will have to endure acts like this in the future. Maybe this will even force the police to go out and track down terrorists and thieves as they are employed to, rather then simply tracking down their next extorted buck. No, maybe not, the leopard never changes their spots. It seems certain the only way Bali or Indonesia will ever have a true police force is to fire the existing one, perhaps even jail them, and start again.

In the mean time, why anyone still does business with Jack Daniels or his company, Bali Discovery Tours, in light of the clear evidence against him, we can only believe is due to apathy. Which is a dangerous thing, as these nasty deeds will often come around and bite each of us individually unless we all do something collectively to stop it.

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