AN Australian couple who allegedly stole a bicycle in the Indonesian Gili Islands near Bali last week were paraded through the streets of the popular tourist spot to warn others from stealing.
Various news reports said the man and woman, who were not named, were made to take the walk of shame alongside local authorities while wearings signs around their necks bearing the words: “I AM THIEVE. DON’T DO WHAT I DID…!!!”
According to the The Guardian, a member of the local security force was quoted as saying that the two were seen stealing the bicycle around 1pm on Saturday via a CCTV footage. They were forced to take the embarrassing walk on the streets the following day before they left Gili Trawangan island.
Channel News Asia (via the AFP) quoted village chief Muhamad Taufik as saying that CCTV recordings showed the two taking the bike from a hotel.
Taufiq said the authorities received a report lodged by the hotel manager and caught the pair the following day.
“We interrogated them, made an agreement, paraded them around the island and forced them to leave Gili,” Taufik was quoted as saying.
Home to roughly 800 people, Gili Trawangan, which is one of three Gili Islands, stretches only 3 kilometers.
The couple, who were on the island for a diving trip, were subjected to a punishment regularly used by local law enforcement.
It is unclear whether the couple had been put under a formal police investigation.
“The walk of shame parade is a regulation in our village. I don’t know whether the police are charging them now, what matters to me is that they’re now gone,” Taufik said.
A worker of a dive shop who identified himself as Mike was quoted by The Guardian as saying that the island had no police presence and residents have set up their own security force that is governed by authorities on the mainland.
The local security force, he said, imposes the so-called “walk of shame” to curb the act of stealing on the island.
“It’s not just a group of vigilantes,” Mike said. “I’ve been here a year and it’s happened between seven and nine times, to tourists but locals as well.”