Terrorist Counterfeit Dopes in Bali
By Bali BS News
Aug 8, 2005, 06:53
Two stories about two sets of dopes in Bali; One are the counterfeit dopes, the second the dope dopes. Both likely funding the next bombs destined for Bali’s tourist areas. First, let us present the counterfeit dopes....
It seems the clearest indication yet that the “I am going to Bali, don’t tell me otherwise” brigade of cheap holiday addicts really do not care about anything or anybody else. Nor that the Balinese police really give a hoot about anything other then their own pockets. Many TV networks and newspapers carried reports that counterfeit goods and pirated software were often the bread and explosives butter of terrorist groups as early as May, 2002. In fact, several news items named Indonesia, such as one by the American Broadcasting Corporation. Did that spur the Balinese police to crack down on the often oppressive number of stores, stalls and hawkers touting counterfeit goods? Did that stop the “bargain” hunters coming from abroad? Why no, it did not.
Isn’t ironic therefore that the tourists who bought counterfeit goods from that point forward to the October 2002 Bali bombings may well have knowingly or uncaringly funded the terrorists and be themselves accessories to the mass murder of 202 fellow tourists? Along with a police force that seem to do nothing if not for their own bank balance? And what of the tourists still to this day insistent on going to Bali for their cheap holiday and chance to buy a counterfeit bag or watch or two or three, or even some software, DVD or music CD? As long as they get back home alive ok and with their special souvenirs right?
Indonesia has one of the world’s worst records for counterfeit goods and pirated software. In June 2005, Microsoft even had to go to the extent of granting the Indonesian government a US$1 per computer amnesty for every government owned PC found to have pirate software on it, an estimated 50,000 computers were "affected". That is 50,000 government department computers using pirated software which may well have put money into the coffers of the Indonesian terrorist groups. Not surprisingly, Indonesia ranks in the top 5 worldwide worst pirate software offenders according to the Business Software Alliance, which represents many of the software companies defrauded out of billions of dollars. As much as 92% of the software sold and used in Indonesia is estimated to be pirated.
Why do the terrorist organizations choose software piracy and counterfeit goods to fund their operations against us? First it is in cash, rich with used bills; that is it does not involve money that needs to be channeled through banks and involves bank notes that are not sequentially numbered. Second is that the business of copyright and trademark infringement carries much less risk than other mainstays of the terrorists; smuggling and drug trafficking; although, as you can imagine, terrorists are involved in those too. But those sweaty bank notes handed over by some tourist to an agent selling a fake Gucci bag, pair of Reebok shoes, Ralph Lauren shirt or Madonna CD is just perfect, easily acquired and untraceable money for al-Qaeda / Jemaah Islamiah.
Of course many shop staff will tell tourists what they want to hear, that the items they sell are genuine, and maybe some are. That allows the “really do not care tourist” to say and even start to believe that they are not supporting terrorism or other crime, because they only buy the "genuine item!” But with so much counterfeiting going on, how many can claim to be one of the few knowledgeable and astute people that can spot a fake? Everyone knows that Rolex, etc. watches sold on Bali’s high streets are fakes. So it follows the shop that sells fake Rolexes yet claims their other goods are the genuine item are lying through their teeth!
Will this message, this warning of what their dollars are likely used for, will it make any difference with the cheap shopaholic tourists to Bali? And will the police close these businesses down? We think not.
Our second half of this article is about one of the other terrorist funding activities of smuggling and drug running, which raises some further “sweet” ironies regarding the Balinese police, and foreigners in Bali that partake in a little dope. You see Bali expats and "spiritual" tourists have a bit a reputation for being a group of pot heads, which may seem ironic in a country which can hand down a death penalty for being involved with drugs. But there you are.
First, isn’t it a different and sickening kind of irony that the Indonesian authorities have installed scanning equipment at their international airports to catch alleged foreign drug smugglers such as Schapelle Corby, while the vast majority of the drugs used in Bali is low quality skunk (cannabis) brought in from Java by Indonesians via ferry ports without scanners and past police who are known to take backhanders to wave vehicles through! Drugs smoked by dopey Balinese expats and hippy tourists, are very likely grown in Java and distributed by the very people trying to bomb them! And isn’t it even more paradoxical that street dope peddlers selling these likely terrorist funding drugs often do so in conjunction with corrupt police officer pimps, eagerly awaiting a chance to extort some very useful foreign exchange from any foreigner dopey enough to make a purchase. Penultimately, foreign dope heads actually caught with or having a puff by the police will probably end up having to give many thousands of dollars to the very people who are so ineffective in stopping the drugs coming in, and even support the sale of them!
What a shame the final irony will not be that the only people affected by their reckless attitudes are the dopes of Bali themselves, and only them.