Two influencers, US-based YouTuber Josh Paler Lin and Russian Leia Se, had their passports seized on Friday and have been jailed in Indonesia.
The pair was apprehended after they filmed themselves with a faux-mask painted on Se’s face walking into a grocery store.
Initially, the store’s security had turned them both away when Se tried to enter with no mask whatsoever, but they finagled an entrance with the fake mask.
Lin holds a Taiwanese passport. His YouTube channel is full of prank videos. Se is an Instagram influencer. The pair sparked absolute fury because the deadly coronavirus virus continues to rise in Bali.
Police said that it was “only proper” to deport Lin and Se for breaking the law.
The two posted a video of the entire “prank.” Lin, in the clip, was surprised that people didn’t notice it was a fake mask.
“Did you notice like no one’s actually looking at you?” Lin said. “I can’t believe it worked!”
The video has since been removed from Lin’s social profiles …but it’s the internet: it exists in other places now.
First-time violators of the mask-wearing law face fines of about $70 and deportation after the second violation, but Bali police wanted the pair removed immediately.
“It’s only proper to sanction them more severely, not just with a fine but also deportation,” said Dewa Nyoman Rai Dharmadi, Bali’s civil service police unit head.
“They are not only violating, but deliberately provoking in public to defy health guidelines.”
Lin and Se expressed remorse in an Instagram video.
“I made this video to entertain people because I’m a content creator and it’s my job to entertain people,” he said.
“However, I did not realize that what I did could actually bring a lot of negative comments,” Lin continued.
Jamaruli Manihuruk is the head of the Bali office for the Justice and Human Rights Ministry. He said they would be deported after they were tested for COVID.
“Foreigners who don’t respect the laws and regulations in Indonesia are facing deportation sanctions,” he said.
While they wait for their flight, Le and Se will remain in a detention cell.