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Estonian Model Flees Bali After Viral Video But Police Still Considering Blacklisting

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Estonian model and winner of Miss Global 2022 caused a social media scandal last week when she uploaded a video accusing Bali traffic cops of corruption. Valeria Vasilieva was pulled over by traffic police in Bali on 18th May and ordered to pay a fine. 

Dismayed and frustrated by her fine, Vasilieva turned to social media to express her anger. The original video, which went viral, was taken down after she received an onslaught of messages and comments advising her that it was not her place to be making such statements.

Accusing authorities of corruption in Indonesia put the accuser at risk of being sued for defamation. In the video, she is quoted as suggesting that traffic cops in Bali were corrupt and would take all of your money if given a chance. Later the same day she issued an apology video on her social media.

It has not been confirmed why the model was pulled over in the first place. The most common reason foreigners are fined by traffic cops in Bali is for not wearing a helmet or for not being able to present an international driver’s license. 

In a country where free speech is technically legal but heavily policed, especially online, Vasilieva was felt to have overstepped the mark. She did however act quickly enough to prevent deportation, though police in Bali have declared that they are deliberating as to whether any further action can be taken now she has left the country. 

Vasilieva had been in Bali for two weeks on vacation. It is not known if she decided to return home to Estonia earlier than planned due to the saga. What is known is that she entered Bali on a tourist visa on arrival stamp. Estonia is one of the sixty counties listed on Indonesia’s visa on arrival program. 

The Head of Bali Law and Human Rights Minister, Anggiat Napitupulu confirmed that Valeria Vasilieva left Indonesia on 17th May without any sanctions from the authorities. In his statement, Naptiupulu said ‘The viral video uploaded on social media by the foreigner, indeed conveys a bad message. However, {the accusations of corruption} also cannot be proven true from what was conveyed’. 

He continued to say that “Regarding the imposition of a blacklist on the person concerned, it cannot be imposed immediately, it must go through an application from the relevant legal teams” only then can immigration take action to lodge Valeria Vasilieva on Indonesia’s blacklist. It remains to be seen if Vasilieva will ever be allowed to return to Bali.

It seems that despite being known to the police that she was not flagged as a person of interest to immigration because no legal action had been taken during her stay. Valeria Vasilieva was able to leave Bali without questioning by border control which may now be seen by the police as a missed opportunity. She left on the 17th of May and is already posting stories on her Instagram in lavish restaurants in her home of Tallin, Estonia. 

Authorities in Bali are keen to be seen to be cracking down hard on foreigners who disrespect, defame or disrupt Balinese culture. Earlier in May two foreign visitors were deported and blacklisted. Jeff Craigen was deported to his homeland of Canada for doing the Haka while naked at the summit of the sacred Mount Batur. Alina Fazleeva from Russia was deported after posing naked next to a sacred Banyan tree in Tua Village.

Both Fazleeva and her husband attended a press conference where Bali Governor Wayan Koster announced their deportation and that authorities in Bali had been instructed to increase the seriousness with which they view acts of disrespect from tourists on the island. He also encouraged both local people and fellow visitors to report any illegal acts or disrespectful behavior to the police so that the culture and heritage of Bali can be preserved and celebrated.

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Martina

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

In Rome you do as th Romans do.....

tim

Tuesday 24th of May 2022

Stop giving police officers a chance to fine you. Wear your helmet, have all documentations ready and obey all the rules. If you break the rules and get caught, don't give them money but request for a ticket instead. The officer usually will detain your license and you will have to redeem it at the designated traffic office (and pay the official fine). Many prefer the easy way out, then call the police corrupt after paying them off directly. These facilitators to corrupt the system are a big part of the problem.

Exp

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

Many of these tourists are coming from countries that in most cases let the offender pay the official fine on the spot and continue the journey.

Here you have to pay the official fine (surat tilang biru) in a bank. Until fine is paid I assume the police keep the vehicle documents. The bank might be far away or closed and this is where a pragmatic solution can be found.

Suggest that police here allow people to pay official fine on the spot using on-line apps like grab or tokopedia and/or mobile visa payment terminals like police on other countries carry.

Firechef

Tuesday 24th of May 2022

Why can't Bali issue a provisional driver's license upon visitor showing a valid license from their home country? Other alternative could be to just accept the drivers license from the visitors home country. An international driver license is difficult to obtain in most countries.

Wayan Bo

Tuesday 24th of May 2022

Who cares. Miss world, miss global, miss universe, miss photogenic, miss …

Dude

Tuesday 24th of May 2022

What would of happened if Valerie had filmed the alleged actions by the Police and it turned out to be true. Then posting it?