Amid the ongoing controversy over the illegal actions of some Russian tourists in Bali, Bali’s immigration office announced on Sunday that citizens of the former Soviet state made up the largest number of foreigners deported from Bali so far this year.
According to a statement released yesterday by the Ngurah Rai Special Class I Immigration Office, between January 1 and April 2, 40 foreigners were deported from Bali, 14 of whom hailed from Russia.
The others included four Filipinos, three Americans, three Saudi Arabians, three Brits, three Nigerians, two Italians, two Uzbekistanis, two Australians, one Kyrgyzstani, one Latvian, one French, one Ugandan, and one Jordanian.
It appears that overstaying their welcome was the main offense, with 26 people being shown the proverbial door for this reason. Foreigners who overstay for more than 60 days can be deported and be blacklisted from returning to Indonesia.
The remaining 14 were deported for violating Indonesian laws and regulations, including violations of their residence permits.
Sugito, the head of the Ngurah Rai Immigration Office, highlighted that a foreigner from the United States and an Australian with the initials MLD (53) were both deported for violating Indonesian law. MLD, in particular, caught the attention of netizens after she was filmed fighting with traffic police, sparking a viral social media storm.
Sugito said: “We thank the public for being proactive in providing reports related to the activities of foreigners through information channels and complaints from the Ngurah Rai Immigration Office.”
In mid-March, Bali Governor Wayan Koster called on the central government to revoke Visa on Arrival privileges for Russian and Ukrainian citizens amid a rise in cases involving foreigners overstaying their visas or working illegally on the Island of Gods. Ukraine’s ambassador to Indonesia complained about the move, calling it unfair to lump Russian and Ukrainian citizens together (we’d just note that there weren’t any Ukrainians among these latest deportation numbers).