A trip to Bali to compete in the finals of the Miss Global beauty pageant has become a social media, even criminal, scandal for Estonian model Valeria Vasilieva. The winner of Miss Global Estonia arrived in Bali two weeks ago but has fled the country after accusing traffic police of corruption in a video that created a social media storm.
Vasilieva was pulled over by traffic police in Bali last week and ordered to pay a fine. At the time, Vasilieva did not reveal the reasons the police gave for pulling her over. The most common reason foreigners get pulled over by traffic police in Bali is for not wearing a helmet, not being able to present an international driver’s license, or not having the correct registration papers or insurance.
After paying the fine the young model posted a rant on Instagram describing how other tourists should ‘Just be ready, the police will stop you anywhere, to check the documents you have…you will spend all the money you have on these corrupt cops’. These accusations of corruption were not well received by Bali police, or local people online.
Many noted how Vasilieva had overstepped the mark, that it was not her place to make commentary about a country that was not her own, nor did she provide substantiated proof that the police were acting outside of the law.
In the saga that followed Vasilieva removed the video from her Instagram page and posted another video apologizing for her actions. Pleading with her followers, the people of Bali, and the police she said “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.’
This appeared to soothe the wound, though the story continues. Police confirmed earlier this week that Vasilieva had left Bali on the 17th of May. She was not flagged by immigration on her departure, nor did the police have a chance to call her in for questioning.
Head of Bali Law and Human Rights Minister, Anggiat Napitupulu, said in a press conference that although she had left the country without any criminal charges being formally lodged, his department was exploring whether she must be put on Indonesia’s blacklist.
Her potential black-listing would be lodged on the basis of defamation or libel (making a false accusation of corruption against Indonesian authorities) and possibly on the grounds that she was in Bali on the wrong visa.
The authorities shared that she entered Bali on a visa on arrival, although she was visiting the island to compete. She may have needed to be on a different visa altogether.
Being added to the blacklist would mean that Vasilieva would be banned from returning to Indonesia for a minimum of five years, it may also impact her ability to visit other countries in South East Asia and countries where Indonesia has strong political ties.
Valeria Vasilieva was visiting Bali to compete in the finals of the Miss Global beauty pageant. On the 25th of May organizers of the event released a statement to announce that she had been disqualified from the competition and that the organization was distancing itself from her actions.
The statement from Dr. Kishanty Hardaningtyas the organizer of Miss Global 2022 ‘We do not tolerate any acts of humiliation and firmly reject his actions and what he has accused the Bali Police of in his video. Miss Valerie came to Indonesia herself before the Miss Global 2022 event officially started in Bali…We took the steps, which we deem appropriate, and have agreed to disqualify Miss Valerie Vasilieva from representing Estonia in this year’s Miss Global 2022 competition for violating the rules’’
According to her social media, Vasilieva is back in her home city of Tallinn, Estonia, and has been seen dining in high-end restaurants. She has not spoken publicly about the incident since her apology video.
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