Bali police shoot dead Russian after violent robbery

DENPASAR, INDONESIA (AFP) - Bali police have shot dead a Russian man after a violent robbery at a money exchange office, officials said on Friday (March 22). Two accomplices were arrested and several others are on the run.

The killing happened on Tuesday on the Indonesian island after police responded to calls about a robbery and confronted the armed trio, officials said.

Three men, including the man who was later killed, broke into a currency exchange office and beat several employees inside, knocking them unconscious.

When they regained consciousness, they found they were tied up and their mouths taped, police said, adding that the employees eventually freed themselves and called the authorities.

The police managed to locate the suspects who had fled, but when they tried to arrest the men, one of the suspects attacked the officers.

"Our unarmed officer tried to fight back, but because the situation was very dangerous to our members, another officer who was armed took strict measures against the suspect... he then died," Denpasar police chief Ruddi Setiawan told reporters.

The Russian embassy confirmed that one of its citizens was shot dead in Bali.

"During a fight with police who were trying to arrest them, one Russian citizen was shot dead," it said on its Facebook account.

"Two others - one Ukrainian and one Russian - were detained."

The arrested Russian was also wounded, the embassy said, adding that four others linked to the crime are still on the run, but "their nationality is unclear".

The embassy said the gang was suspected of robbing another money changer in December and, separately, stealing weapons. It did not elaborate.

Nearly US$70,000 (S$94,400) in Indonesian rupiah and US currency was reportedly stolen, according to police, who named the dead man as 45-year-old Alexei Korotkikh.

Foreigners are often arrested for drugs offences in Bali, which attracts millions of visitors to its palm-fringed beaches every year. But arrests for violent crime are more rare.

In January, Bali police apprehended four Bulgarians accused of skimming bank card data at several ATM machines in the capital, Denpasar.