Two YouTubers are set to be booted out of Bali after posting a prank video where one of them is shown sporting a painted-on face mask, a clear violation of Indonesia’s mask laws.
On Friday, April 30, Balinese authorities reported that they have jailed and seized the passports of US-based Taiwanese vlogger Josh Paler Lin and Russian influencer Leia Se. They have also decided to deport both Lin and Se due to the infamy of their careless and illegal stunt.
In a “Facebook-exclusive prank” video that has since been deleted, Se tried and failed to enter a grocery store for not wearing a mandatory face mask. With Lin filming the entire thing, Se then paints on a mock face mask over her mouth so she could be let in, noting excitedly how nobody inside the grocery store seems to notice her fake compliance.
Posting the highest number of coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia, Indonesia has been strictly imposing its mask mandates. Foreigners committing their first offense will be required to pay a fine of one million rupiahs ($70), while those committing their second will face deportation.
However, given the outrage that Se and Lin’s prank garnered, authorities elected to deport the pair right away. They will be brought back to Taiwan and Russia respectively once flights become available.
“We will deport the foreigner in accordance with the Immigration Law Number 6 Year 2011 concerning Immigration,” Jamaruli Manihuruk, head of the regional office of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights Bali, said in a televised press conference.
Three days after their outrageous prank video, Lin issued a “clarification statement” on his Instagram where he explains and apologizes on camera for the transgression.
In the brief video, Lin and Se are seen sitting beside their lawyer, now with actual face masks on, while their lawyer issues an apology in the local language.
“The intention to make this video was not at all to disrespect or to invite everyone to not wear mask. I made this video to entertain people because I am a content creator and it is my job to entertain people,” Lin said. “However, I did not realize that what I did could actually bring a lot of negative comments from the netizen and that it raise a lot of concerns.”
“We promise not to do it again,” promised the YouTuber.
Lin, who is a Taiwanese, has amassed over 3.4 million subscribers on his YouTube channel where he posts stunt videos. Se, a Russian Instagram influencer, has over 25,000 followers on the photo-sharing platform where she shares her upscale escapades all over the world.
Indonesia has posted 1,682,004 cases and almost 45,949 deaths due to the coronavirus. It was back in March when the Indonesian government announced its decision to reopen select “green areas” in Bali where travelers are allowed to stay. These locations are set to reopen by July 2021.