“Begpackers,” people who travel to a foreign country and beg for money from the locals to fund their vacation, has become such a problem in Indonesia that Bali immigration has created a plan to bring all foreigners caught doing this act to their respective embassies.
Setyo Budiwardoyo, an official from Ngurah Rai’s Immigration Office, expressed the problem of growing numbers of foreigners causing problems in the country while speaking to Indonesian news site Detik News via Coconuts Bali.
“We have seen many cases of problematic tourists, lately they are either Australian, British or Russian. We tend to report these cases to the relevant embassies, so they can oversee their citizens who are on holiday here,” he said.
Setyo added that in the past, Indonesia had helped these foreign tourists who run out of money by providing them with food and accommodation, but Setyo has now become skeptical that these foreigners are just pretending to be broke.
“If we are to discuss budget matters, I’d rather not give food for people who are pretending. We tend to contact their embassies instead, and ask them to provide their citizens with assistance,” he said. “Foreign citizens who run out of money or are pretending to be beggars, we will send them to their respective embassies.”
“Begpacking” is not just a widespread issue in Indonesia, but in other Asian countries as well. Just last February, a couple was arrested for using a real baby for their illegal street performance for money.
In 2017, infamous German Benjamin Holst was barred from entering several Asian nations after it was revealed that he conned many kindhearted Thai citizens in 2014 when he pretended to have a swollen foot and begged for their money. He was also caught by Indonesian authorities in 2016 and was deported.