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Estonian Model Apologises For Accusing Bali Police Of Corruption

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An Estonian model has got herself in hot water with Bali’s netizens after accusing local police of corruption in an emotionally charged Instagram video. 

The winner of Miss Global 2022, Valeria Vasilieva has been visiting Bali for two weeks and has found herself on the wrong side of the law. She was pulled over by traffic police and ordered to pay a fine. It seems she may have been in violation of a number of driving laws including having the right international licenses and documentation and not wearing a helmet.

There is a misconception from many travelers that since the rules of the road in Bali are very different from those in Europe, America, and Australia that there is also little law enforcement. This is not the case, traffic police reserve the right to pull drivers over to check their license, and registration and issue fines should paperwork not be up to date or if drivers are breaking traffic laws. This can include not wearing a helmet or ignoring road signs. 

After receiving a fine from traffic police Vasilieva did not hold back on sharing her frustration with her followers. In a damming viral video that she has since removed, the model accused Bali police cops of corruption and overcharging her fine. She said “Just be ready, the police will stop you anywhere, to check the documents you have…they will spend all the money you have on these corrupt cops’.

Making such strong accusations was not well received by local people online. Despite Indonesia having free speech laws, the scope for personal expression online is becoming increasingly limited. Not only do Indonesian people get personally offended by foreigners making negative assertions about their country and systems, but the police are also quick to shut down these kinds of voices. Journalists, influencers and other online commentators must tread a very thin line. 

Travelers and long-term international residents in Indonesia are reminded to exercise caution when offering criticism of policies, police, religion, and the government both online and in person. In this instance, it seems Vasilieva’s outburst came from genuine naivety as she has shared a second video issuing a tender apology to the people of Bali and the police for her accusations. 

In a second video, posted to both Instragam and TikTok she shares ‘“I want to apologize for my comment this morning. I really enjoyed being in Bali these past few weeks. I don’t mean to be rude or hurt anyone. I’m so sorry, I’m just an ordinary human who can make mistakes.’

The comments on the video have been largely positive, from both locals in Bali and Indonesian people across the country. Many have offered their forgiveness and reminded her to follow the rules. This quick apology and positive repose may be sufficient in ensuring no further legal action is taken against Vasilieva. No doubt she is now aware of the recent deportation of Jeff Craigen and Alina Fazleeva who were found guilty of public nudity in sacred sites in Bali. 

Their deportations and black listings served as a reminder to travelers to be respectful of Balinese law and culture. Though Bali is famous for being a care-free destination for travelers from all over the world, local people are tired of foreigners being disrespectful of their island home whether this is through words or actions. 

Bali police and immigration departments are taking reports of defamation and disrespect very seriously indeed. During the press conference announcing the deportation of Jeff Craigen and Alina Fazleeva, authorities urged people to report any incidences of foreigners breaking the law to the police. These measures can ensure that Bali’s heritage is respected and preserved and enable visitors to the Islands of the Gods to enjoy the land in all its glory.

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Miki

Tuesday 24th of May 2022

Good fotr her... she right to speak her mind and everyone already knows this... an no ticket recept means the cop put the money in his own pocket and the city/state did not get any of it... never hand them money ever always get a receipt always... then take it to his police station and ask if that is the correct fine if you feel your being wronged... because no receipt is the same as being robbed at gun point idk if he is wearing a uniform you all say this is normal or expected - its not! I go to TJ mexico all the time and its the norm to be pulled over but they will write you a ticket unless you ask to settle it rt there on the spot trust that money is for him an him alone thats expected.

as for free speech... lol never in a country like that, you live in BAlI you live in a policed state, if you cant except it then leave and live somewhere else...

Randy

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

Another "Karen" without substantial proof of her complaints.

The problem of many outsiders having an excuse to scream corruption. The truth in the matter is obvious that they do not follow the rules (when in Rome do as the Romans do mentality) and it is easy to blame the authorities.

Sometimes the authorities do make occasional checkpoints to check if your licenses are in order and if you do wear a helmet for safety. They are there to enforce the law and to make sure you are safe.

J West

Saturday 21st of May 2022

Well….give her credit, she’s getting the attention she craves. The old saying “ even bad press is good for a career” seems to be working in her favor. She’s lucky she didn’t do what she did in Thailand or Malaysia where they have very strong defamation laws which would have landed her in prison….with no sympathetic following. In Thailand you can go to jail for writing a bad hotel review. In Thai you can get fined up to B10,000 for calling a prostitute a prostitute thereby defaming her. The proper description for ‘prostitute’ is ‘good girl’. So fellow travelers be careful what you say in these laughable little countries lest you run afoul of traditional norms.

bali expat

Saturday 21st of May 2022

As a long time expat, I have to agree, I am tired of tourists who think they can do whatever they want wherever they want here, ignoring the safety, health and culture of the Balinese. There are so many who are rude & arrogant & I am happy to see them on the next plane out. Corruption? Of course, it is everywhere in the world, but it HAS gotten better here, thanks to efforts. How to cure it: Pay Police and other civil servants a living wage....one step in the right direction.

Randy

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

@bali expat, agreed

Truthteller

Saturday 21st of May 2022

She only said the truth! Everybody knows: Bali police are among the most corrupt in the world!

Randy

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

@Truthteller, as if in your own pathetic country you do not have bad corrupted cops. What truth would that that she is entitled because she is a prom look alike queen that she can break the law as she pleases because other tourists may be doing the same thing.

Randy

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

@Truthteller, liar