A Russian influencer who caused some hubbub in Bali last month for a reckless social media stunt was deported from Indonesia yesterday, after officials deemed that he violated health protocols and the purpose of his stay permit.
The influencer, who immigration officials have identified as Sergei Kosenko, has over 4.9 million followers on Instagram. He was the subject of outrage across the country in December after he filmed himself launching off a dock in Bali on a motorcycle and plunging into the ocean. The stunt prompted the police to launch an investigation, as Indonesians, including Balinese designer and politician Niluh Djelantik, took to social media to call him out.
His deportation yesterday, however, was over a more recent incident. Immigration authorities said that based on his Instagram posts uploaded on Jan. 11, Kosenko was found to have violated Indonesia’s COVID-19 health protocols. The posts showed him and a crowd partying without masks or social distancing.
Under Indonesia’s 2011 Immigration Law, immigration officials are authorized to impose an Administrative Act from Immigration should they deem any foreign national to be conducting dangerous activities, suspected to be endangering safety and public order, or being disrespectful and disobeying the laws. The acts include cancellation of stay permit and deportation, among others.
“[Kosenko] previously went viral because he did a dangerous stunt by plunging into the ocean with his motorbike. However, after we looked into it, Sergey also partied without health protocols during the pandemic,” Head of the Bali office for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Jamaruli Manihuruk, said.
“So from Immigration, while the stunt did not violate [any laws], it’s the party that was determined to have violated immigration laws,” he continued.
In addition, Jamaruli said Kosenko may have violated his visitor stay permit by conducting business during his stay in Bali. According to reports, he allegedly acted as the ambassador of a company to invite investors, which also extends to some marketing and promotion activities.
Jamaruli said that the Bali office has deported five foreign nationals from Indonesia this year. There are around 30,000 foreign nationals in Bali and most violations were due to the misuse of their existing permit, such as working while staying in the country with a visitor visa.