Two influencers were today jailed in an Indonesian immigration centre awaiting deportation from Bali after they recorded themselves defying mandatory mask-wearing by painting face coverings on themselves.
The US-based YouTuber Josh Paler Lin and Russian influencer Leia Se had their passports seized and deported from Indonesia‘s resort island on Friday after they posted a video showing themselves duping supermarket guards with a painted surgical mask.
Lin and Se staged the stunt which has provoked a furious backlash in Indonesia after they were refused entry because Se was unmasked.
‘Did you notice like no one’s actually looking at you?’ Lin exclaimed. ‘I can’t believe it worked!’ he said in the video posted two weeks ago.
It has since been taken down from his social media accounts but has been reposted elsewhere.
YouTuber Josh Paler Lin and Russian influencer Leia Se (centre) were jailed in an immigration centre awaiting deportation from Bali after they recorded themselves defying mandatory mask-wearing with some imaginative makeup
The US-based YouTuber and Russian influencer were ordered off Indonesia’s resort island on Friday after they posted a video showing themselves duping supermarket guards with a painted surgical mask
Although first-time violators of Bali’s mask-wearing rule face fines of 1 million rupiah ($70) for foreigners and deportation after a second offence, the police wanted them removed off the island immediately.
‘It’s only proper to sanction them more severely, not just with a fine but also deportation,’ said Bali’s civil service police unit head Dewa Nyoman Rai Dharmadi.
‘They are not only violating, but deliberately provoking in public to defy health guidelines.’
The pair had shown remorse and apologised through Lin’s Instagram video.
‘I made this video to entertain people because I’m a content creator and it’s my job to entertain people,’ Lin said.
‘However, I did not realize that what I did could actually bring a lot of negative comments,’ he said, advising people to always wear masks and encouraging tourists to return to Bali.
Jamaruli Manihuruk, who heads the Bali regional office for the Justice and Human Rights Ministry, said that Lin and Se to be deported as soon as possible after they are tested for COVID-19.
‘Foreigners who don’t respect the laws and regulations in Indonesia are facing deportation sanctions,’ Manihuruk said.
He said Lin and Se will be placed in a detention cell at the immigration office while waiting for their flight.
The viral video has since been taken down from his social media accounts but has been reposted elsewhere
The social media influencers later posted a video, appearing alongside their legal team (pictured), to apologise for the prank
Lin is a Taiwanese passport holder whose YouTube channel specialises in prank videos and is followed by 3.4 million fans. Se has over 25,000 Instagram followers
Lin is a Taiwanese passport holder whose YouTube channel specialises in prank videos and is followed by 3.4 million fans. Se has over 25,000 Instagram followers.
In January, authorities in Bali deported Sergei Kosenko, a Russian social media celebrity, after he posted a video of himself driving a motorcycle with a female passenger on the back off a pier into the sea.
The stunt was condemned by many Indonesians as reckless and a potentially hazardous to the environment.
Indonesia has been the hardest hit south-east Asian country, with 1.6 million cases of Covid and almost 45,000 coronavirus-related deaths.