Balsetou was a VOC guard post near to the island of Ambon. It was set up a surveillance station to supervise the clove trade. In this way the activities of the Company's European rivals

its enemies

could be monitored. It was also important to the Company as a way of monitoring the activities of the indigenous inhabitants. The idea was that the cloves grown by the people of Ambon be surrendered to the village chiefs, who in turn would supply the product to the Company.