DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) – A U.S.-based YouTuber and a Russian influencer were ordered off Indonesia’s resort island of Bali on Friday after recording themselves defying mandatory mask-wearing with some imaginative makeup.
Clips of the video created by Josh Paler Lin and Leia Se and posted two weeks ago show the two duping supermarket guards with a painted surgical mask after they were refused entry because Se was unmasked.
“Did you notice like no one’s actually looking at you?” Lin exclaimed. “I can’t believe it worked!” he said in the video that appears to have been taken down from his social media accounts but has since been reposted elsewhere.
Lin is a Taiwanese passport holder whose YouTube channel specializes in prank videos and is followed by 3.4 million fans. Se has over 25,000 Instagram followers.
Although first-time violators of Bali’s mask-wearing rule face fines of 1 million rupiah ($70) for foreigners and deportation after a second offense, the police wanted them removed off the island immediately.
“It’s only proper to sanction them more severely, not just with a fine but also deportation,” said Bali’s civil service police unit head Dewa Nyoman Rai Dharmadi. “They are not only violating, but deliberately provoking in public to defy health guidelines.”
The pair had shown remorse and apologized through Lin’s Instagram video.
“I made this video to entertain people because I’m a content creator and it’s my job to entertain people,” Lin said, “However, I did not realize that what I did could actually bring a lot of negative comments,” he said, advising people to always wear masks and invite everyone to help Bali regain its tourism.
Jamaruli Manihuruk, who heads the Bali regional office for the Justice and Human Rights Ministry, said that Lin and Se to be deported as soon as possible after they are tested for COVID-19.
“Foreigners who don’t respect the laws and regulations in Indonesia are facing deportation sanctions,” Manihuruk said. He said Lin and Se will be placed in a detention cell at the immigration office while waiting for their flight.
In January, authorities in Bali deported Sergei Kosenko, a Russian social media celebrity, after he posted a video of himself driving a motorcycle with a female passenger on the back off a pier into the sea. The stunt was condemned by many Indonesians as reckless and a potentially hazardous to the environment.
Associated Press writer Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to the report.
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