Another day, another foreigner in Bali is in hot water. This time, a pageant contestant from Estonia named Valeria Vasilieva is facing backlash (and, potentially, deportation) after a video of her criticizing local police went viral on Indonesian social media.
Local outlets reported Vasilieva originally uploaded the video on her TikTok and Instagram with the handle @lerusi_k. In the video, she claimed that local police would extort travelers on the Island of Gods. It has been reported that Vasilieva was fined by the police for violating traffic regulations prior to recording the video.
“If you want to travel to Bali, be ready,” she said in the now-deleted video. She went on to say that the police would stop travelers everywhere and inspect their documents before insinuating that the police greedily take travelers’ money.
“Until you will pay all of the money you have to this fucking corruption police [sic]. Good luck,” she added, sarcastically.
Vasilieva later took down the video but local entrepreneur and fashion designer Niluh Djelantik (IG @niluhdjelantik) noticed it and uploaded a copy on her Instagram account.
“With that many pageant crowns you have, but still no manners,” Niluh wrote in the caption.
“If you’re obeying the rules [such as wearing helmets or have all the documents handy], the authorities would not enforce the law […] leading a certain public opinion by saying f*ck*1ng [corrupt police], if you don’t have evidence you will deal with the public deception and defamation law. The punishment is jail and deportation,” she said.
Niluh tagged the official Instagram accounts of both the Badung Police and the Denpasar Police.
Vasilieva later uploaded an apology video (which was also reuploaded by Niluh). Niluh stated that while Vasilieva is forgiven, she still needs to answer for her previous video in which she was seen insulting the police.
Police in Indonesia, including Bali, have indeed been reported to solicit bribes. But without knowing the specifics related to Vasilieva’s alleged traffic violations, one would be remiss to believe her claim of being extorted without proof, as people in Bali – including foreigners – have been widely reported to violate traffic laws, such as driving a motorcycle without a helmet.
Local outlets reported that Vasilieva, who is staying in Canggu, is a contestant of the 10th edition of Miss Global 2022 representing Estonia. The event is scheduled to be held at the Nusa Dua Convention Center on June 11. The pageant was held virtually last year after it was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Vasilieva became the latest foreigner who went viral this year for offending the locals, after a Canadian man danced naked on top of Mt. Batur and a Russian yogi posed naked at an ancient tree near a Balinese temple. Both have been deported from Bali.
Last month, a woman’s complaints on Kuta Beach peddlers also went viral on social media to the point the authorities rounded them up and rehabilitated them as a result. Comments on the last video were divided: some labeling the woman a “Karen”, while others say that she has a point as beach peddlers in Bali have been known to be be annoyingly persistent.