Image: Model influencer Tori Hunter. Credit: Instagram.
Australian, self-proclaimed model and social influencer, Tori Ann Lyla Hunter, caused an international media commotion this week after she claimed to be blackmailed by police and lawyers in Bali. The celebrity Instagramer was held for four days in connection with possession of illegal pharmaceutical drugs. Customs and police at Ngurah Rai Airport have also been speaking up.
“Ms Tori Hunter arrived in Bali on Tuesday (6/8) and declared the prescription drugs she brought with her to Customs on arrival. From the results of the examination, it was found that she was carrying 100 tablets in white plastic bottles which were thought to be dexamphetamine and 47 tablets in white plastic bottles with the name ‘Antenex 5’,” said the Section Head of Customs Information Services at Ngurah Rai Airport, Teddy Triatmojo told Detik.com yesterday.
Head of the Ngurah Rai Customs Office , Himawan Indarjono explained to Tribun Bali, “The law says that the amount brought in has to be in accordance with the needs of the treatment of the foreign patient, which is related to the period of stay in Indonesia and no longer than two months, and must be proven by a copy of the prescription or doctor’s statement.”
“A laboratory test was conducted at the Ngurah Rai Customs and Excise Laboratory and the samples tested were pharmaceutical products containing dexamphetamine and diazepam,” he added.
Teddy explained that dexamphetamine is considered to be a narcotics group I drug based on the narcotics law and can only be imported by large pharmaceutical companies. Diazepam is a group IV psychotropic drug which is controlled and must arrive with a doctor’s prescription.
“When we checked further, the amount she brought in was more than what was stated in the prescription. That was why we detained her. At this point we handed her over to the police, namely the narcotics department at Bali Police headquarters,” he explained.
“On our part (Customs), the examination took place quickly. She arrived on the 6th (August) and we immediately checked the substances in the laboratory. So on the same day we handed her over to the regional police, and there was no asking for money,” he said.
Triatmojo also mentioned that Tori Hunter claimed to be targeted because she was a celebrity. However, he ensured Detik.com that his side is professional.
“One more thing that needs to be clarified. She said that she was targeted because of her celebrity. Sorry, that’s not how we work. We don’t see that, but we just see the luggage. If the luggage looks suspicious it must be controlled by Customs, we just control that,” he said.
Until now, Triatmojo says he is still trying to ask for clarification from Ms Hunter. He claimed to have contacted Australian media to try to contact the woman who has already returned to her country.
“I am still looking for possibilities to contact her via social media. But we have exchanged information with the media in Australia and they have talked with us. But we still seek direct contact with those concerned,” he said.
Previously reported, Tori Hunter claimed in an Instagram post (which has now been taken down. Ed) to have been detained for four days in Bali and extorted for nearly AUD 40 thousand or the equivalent of nearly Rp 400 million. She claims the money was to pay for her freedom from prison.
She then started a crowd funding page on the GoFundMe website to repay herself the AUD 39,600 or the equivalent of Rp. 396 million that she claimed on social media.
“I was arrested after going through Customs for bringing my own prescription drugs to the country, which I brought in a pharmaceutical labeled box along with a certificate from my doctor,” she wrote on the fundraising page (which has also been taken down. Ed).
“I am personally targeted because of my social media status as a model,” she claimed.
Both the police and lawyers have denied the extortion issue.
Jupiter Lalwani of law firm Legal Nexus in Bali, which handled the Hunter case, denied the extortion claim that the model presented on her Instagram page.
The Balinese lawyer claimed to have explained all the details to Hunter as his client, including the fees. And after that explanation, Hunter is said to have agreed to work together with the lawyer.
“She was okay with it, agreed, gave the signature of the power of attorney in both English and Indonesian and we issued an invoice. The amount was 25,000 dollars,” said Jupiter.
The regional police also dismissed Tori Hunter’s accusations. Head of Bali Police Public Relations Commissioner Hengky Widjaja ensured that police investigators work professionally.
“That information is not true. Police investigators work professionally. If the case is proven, it will certainly be processed by the law,” said Bali police spokesperson Hengky Widjaja to ABC Indonesia.
Hengky also told ABC that Ms Hunter was eventually released because “the medicine she brought was in accordance with her illness and condition”.