A 25-year-old model from Australia claims she became a target while travelling to Bali, alleging she was strip searched, detained by customs and asked to cough up almost $40,000 after airport officers found “drugs” in her luggage.
Tori Ann Lyla Hunter arrived into Bali on August 6, according to her Instagram account, before things started to spiral out of control.
The Adelaide mum claims she was travelling with prescription medication to Bali, when she was stopped by customs at the airport, strip searched and detained for further questioning by officials.
Ms Hunter, who has almost 120k followers on the social media platform said the reason she was detained for four days is because she brought “prescription medication into the country”. A video which she filmed on her mobile phone and uploaded to Instagram shows her being driven in a car by an officer, as well as her living conditions while being held in an apparent jail cell.
“I never made it through customs in Bali for bringing my own prescription medication into the country,” she wrote alongside the video of her experience at the airport.
“I spent 4 days locked up but was facing 5 years in a Balinese jail.
“Instead they extorted me for $39,482. They targeted me because of my social media status as a model and influencer.”
Ms Hunter, who has created a GoFundMe page to help raise back the $39,600 fee she was allegedly forced to pay before being released, said she was travelling with medication and doctors certificates before being detained.
“I was detained after going through customs for bringing my own personal medication into the country, which I brought in pharmacy labelled boxes along with a certificate from my GP,” she wrote on the funding page.
“I was personally targeted because of my social media status as a model these people weren’t just ‘doing their job’ they assumed I’m loaded and then came up with a list that states my medications as a class A drug there,” Hunter alleged.
“After speaking with the Australian embassy we found out there is no such list.
“I wouldn’t wish what I’ve been through the past week upon my worst enemy. I served 4 days in captivity but was facing up to 5 years in a Balinese prison.”
According to consumer watchdog Choice, some Australian prescription medications (including strong painkillers such as morphine and codeine, sleeping pills and medications for ADHD) are considered illegal narcotics under Indonesian law.
Other medications such as paracetamol, antidiarrhoeals and antibiotics shouldn’t pose as a problem for travellers, however the advice is to check with the Indonesian embassy before arriving to the country.
For a fee, they can write you a Certified Letter of Approved Medicines; however, their website warns: “The letter is neither for legality purpose nor providing guarantee that you will be exempted from any checks and legal consequences that may arise.”
The advice is also to always have medications (even vitamins) in their original packaging, along with their original prescription and a letter from a doctor explaining what the medications are (using generic names, what they’re for and dosage instructions).
In a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, a spokesperson said they had been assisting a woman from Australia.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provided consular assistance to an Australian woman detained in Indonesia (in accordance with the Consular Services Charter),” the statement read.
“Due to privacy obligations, we are unable to provide further information.”