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Jakarta Post

Authority probes Facebook ad selling Indonesian island for Rp 250b

  • Panca Nugraha

    The Jakarta Post

Mataram   /   Sat, May 12, 2018   /   10:15 am
Authority probes Facebook ad selling Indonesian island for Rp 250b Satonda Island in West Nusa Tenggara. (Shutterstock/-)

The West Nusa Tenggara administration is setting up an investigative team to respond to an advertisement on Facebook offering Satonda Island in Dompu regency for Rp 250 billion (US$17.9 million).

Satonda is a unique island, as if shaped like a ring because it has a salt lake in the center. On travel sites, Satonda is referred to as “magical”, “mythical” or “mysterious”. The island is popular among tourists also visiting Komodo Island in East Nusa Tenggara.

Facebook account “Agent Property Lombok” posted an ad to sell the island, claiming the size of the island was 7,000-hectares. It says the buyer can construct buildings only on 550-ha and should keep the rest as a conservation area.

 

“We received information about this offer from the public. This violated the law,” assistant I for law and administration at the administration’s secretariat, Agus Patria, said Friday afternoon in Mataram, the provincial capital. Only the state can sell an island, he went on.

Satonda Island is part of the Natural Tourism Park managed by the province’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency.

Satonda is included in the province’s tourism investment program with a focus on maritime and fishery tourism. However, any investment should follow the right procedures.

West Nusa Tenggara has at least 278 islands apart from the largest ones: Lombok and Sumbawa. Of the number, 40 are inhabited.