Update Jan. 20: Immigration officials said on Wednesday that Kristen Gray and her girlfriend, Saundra Michelle Alexander, will be prohibited from entering Indonesia for six months after their deportation. Local news outlets reported that Gray and Alexander are scheduled to fly out of Indonesia tomorrow morning on a Japan Airlines flight.
Original story follows below.
An American digital nomad whose controversial Twitter thread about moving to Bali went viral is going to be deported pending the next available flight, authorities said today.
Head of the Bali office for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Jamaruli Manihuruk, said in a statement that official investigation found that the digital nomad, who the office identified as US citizen Kristen Gray, may have violated a number of immigration laws, including “spreading information that could unsettle the public,” such as Bali being queer-friendly and suggesting that foreigners can enter Indonesia during the pandemic.
“The concerned foreign national is suspected to have done business by selling her e-book and putting up consultation fees on traveling to Bali, which means she can be subject to sanctions according to the 2011 Immigration Law,” the statement also said, explaining that those actions mean Gray has violated the purpose of her stay permit.
Gray is in Indonesia under a visitor stay permit, which is still valid until Jan. 24. However, as the investigation concluded that she has violated a number of regulations, authorities have decided to deport her.
“An American national by the name Kristen Antoinette Gray is subjected to Administrative Act from Immigration in the form of deportation,” the statement said.
Gray is currently detained at the Immigration Detention Center in Denpasar as her deportation is postponed until a flight to the United States becomes available.
The American sparked a heated debate on Twitter after she wrote a thread about moving to Bali, for which she was accused of being culturally tone-deaf and encouraging others to get around travel restrictions amid the pandemic, among others.
Immigration authorities launched a probe just yesterday, following mounting allegations online of possible visa violations.
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!