There was a bit of K-drama in Indonesia involving popular South Korean actor Lee Jongsuk, but this one doesn’t involve any pretty co-stars nor does it have a happy ending. Instead, it rather boringly concerns a violation of immigration policies.
Lee Jongsuk visited Jakarta as part of his fan-meeting tour, Crank Up, at The Hall Kota Kasablanka in South Jakarta on Saturday. He was supposed to fly back to Seoul on Sunday, but before he was able to board his plane, he was detained by immigration officials at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
In a deleted Instagram post from Monday, Lee Jongsuk posted a picture taken in Terminal 3 accompanied with a caption about his situation. He wrote that he and 12 of his staff members couldn’t return to South Korea then because their passports had been confiscated by authorities. He said he was “able to end the fan meeting with a thankful heart. But all of my staff and I are stuck in Jakarta. I think we’ve been detained since yesterday…”
After the detainment, the I Can Hear Your Voice actor and his staff were reportedly deported on Monday at 9 pm. According to the Immigration Office Head of Public Relations Teodorus Simarmata, Lee Jongsuk and his staff violated Indonesia’s immigration policies.
“He entered Indonesia with visa on arrival, but he did a show business work, holding a fan meeting,” Simarmata said, adding that Lee Jongsuk should’ve applied for a business visa.
Lee Jongsuk seemingly laid some of the blame on the promoter for his visit, Yes24 Ent Indonesia, who he said “had reported lower profits from the fan-meeting than what they had actually made to the local tax authorities.” Lee Jongsuk’s frustration was later confirmed by his agency, A-Man Project.
Yes24 Ent Indonesia blamed the incident on an unnamed third party, hired as security at the venue and for visa arrangements.
“We hired them as our security because they said they’d give us sponsors, facilitate immigration-related things to taxes. Our side had given all supporting documents,” said a representative from Yes24 Ent Indonesia who refused to be named.
Regardless, A-Man Project released an official statement expressing their frustration at the incident, as well as alluding to potential legal action against Yes24 Ent Indonesia. The agency said, “Each explanation which followed one after another baffled us, and we do not know what explanations they will give us next.”
The news of Lee Jongsuk’s detainment shocked his fans. In this fan video taken at the airport, fans could be heard saying “Oppa, mianhae (Older brother, we’re sorry)”.
— Eun Bong Hee 💋👓 (@BongHee_hoaRP) November 5, 2018
Some also speculated that Indonesian Immigration have been closely monitoring Korean celebrities who came to Indonesia for potential visa violations.
Imigrasi tu emang lagi ketat ama artis2 korea, gara gara udah beberapa kali pada gelar konser/fanmeet tp pake visa biasa (bukan visa kerja).
— Jeng Goesti (@gustidha) November 5, 2018
“Indonesian Immigration is keeping an eye on Korean artists, because some of them held concerts/fan meetings with visitor visa (not working visa).”
May this case be a lesson for local promoters (and of course, to everyone else) to apply for the correct visa when coming to Indonesia.