Now, two influencers are facing deportation from Bali after pranking a local supermarket by painting on surgical masks and ignoring local coronavirus rules.
The now-deleted video shows Taiwanese-American YouTuber Josh Paler Lin and Russian influencer Leia Se duping supermarket guards with a painted face mask after they were refused entry because Se was unmasked.
“Did you notice, like, no one’s actually looking at you,” Lin joked to Se. “Exactly! Because it looks real,” Se replied. “No one noticed, even security, I can’t believe this works,” Lin added.
Lin runs a YouTube channel that specialises 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 one 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.”
“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 realise that what I did could actually bring a lot of negative comments.”
Jamaruli Manihuruk, who heads the Bali regional office for the Justice and Human Rights Ministry, said that Lin and Se’s passports have been seized and the pair will 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,” he explained, adding that Lin and Se will be placed in a detention cell at the immigration office while waiting for their flight.