A 38-year-old Balinese mother of two has been sent to prison for one year after falsely claiming her baby had been kidnapped.

Ni Wayan Sukerti made the false report last year, claiming that two motorcycle riders, unknown to her, had attempted to kidnap her baby. Ni Wayan also has a toddler.

Ni Wayan claimed that on November 1, 2019, the motorcyclists had attempted to kidnap the one-and-a-half-year-old baby boy, Ni Komang Puspadewi, at around 10.30am. She also said this had taken place north of Pura Subak Uma Desa on Batuyang Gang Walet Road in the Sukawati subdistrict.

The hoax came to light after Ni Wayan had been interviewed and examined several times at the Sukawati Police Headquarters. She was officially made a suspect on November 8, 2018.

Police made several checks, spoke to witnesses, and examined the scene. It was determined that the report was a hoax, which violated Article 242, paragraph one, of the Criminal Code regarding a fraudulent claim.

Ni Wayan, who is from Nusa Penida Klungkung, told police that she only made the claim to scare her eldest child. She gained inspiration from kidnapping news on social media.

The trial in May was held in the Gianyar District Court, chaired by a panel of judges; Dori Melfin, Ida Bagus Made Ari Suamba and Wawan Edi Prastiyo.

Judge member and PR of the District Court, Wawan Edi Prastiyo, said that the public prosecutor demanded a two-month prison sentence for the crime. However, the panel of judges argued this sentence.

They believe the hoax had greatly disturbed the community, caused a commotion and created fear and anxiety. With these considerations in mind, the one-year sentence seemed the most fitting.

Bali Considered a Safe City

Bali is ranked as the 88th safest city, with a rating of 57.5 percent and for mostly non-violent crimes. The most prominent crime in Bali is pickpocketing, with bag snatching and drink spiking a common problem as well.

Even though Ni Wayan Sukerti made a claim of kidnapping, such criminal acts are not as common as you may think. Mugging and kidnapping risks are low, but you may like to avoid navigating the streets on your own at night.

As you relax and make the most of your holiday in Bali, you are likely to come across scammers. Both unauthorized money changers and vendors are known to take advantage of newcomers of the area.

However, corrupt police and transport around Bali are more likely to be something you need to consider and be aware of. Corrupt police are known to accept bribes of between 40,000 and 100,000 Rupiah. If you are traveling in the open waters, be mindful of pirates in the South-East Asian waters, especially in the Straits of Malacca.

Travelers may like to avoid traveling in economy class if they are worried about their possessions and to avoid overloaded ferries and boats.