August 30, 2017

A seven-month-old girl diagnosed with severe pneumonia is fighting for life in a Bali hospital

Baby Almeera, from Perth, was rushed to hospital on Wednesday with a high fever and now she is unable to breath on her own. The pneumonia has caused inflammation around her heart and possibly will need to be monitored with blood transfusions the rest of her life. Her father, Daniel, and Indonesian mother Sonia, who live in Bali, were devastated to find her medical expenses were not covered under their insurance. The baby girl’s parents are also facing huge costs to transport their daughter from Bali back to Perth.

‘She is unable to breath without oxygen and she stopped breathing three times in one night,’ the GoFundMe page set up for her states. ‘She has under gone a blood transfusion and they are doing further tests to investigate if she has a genetic blood disorder called Beta Thalassemia, which requires a specialist consultant.’ If Almeera needs testing and further medical help they will need to travel to Australia for the assistance which will put her family under immense financial strain. The page urges donations to assist her parents, who run a bar and grill in Bali, as they do their best to help their daughter. Any left over funds will be donated to the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children in Perth. [Daily Mail Australia August 16, 2017]


Bali prison escapee Shaun Davidson has taunted the authorities with another provocative Facebook post

Shaun Edward Davidson, 33, broke out Bali’s notorious Kerobokan prison on June 20 through a tunnel burrowed underneath the jail walls and has been on the run from authorities since. Davidson, from Perth, has amassed a cult following on Facebook since his escape, where he taunts the police about his fugitive lifestyle. ‘Run run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man,’ he posted on Tuesday. The post was met with an outpouring of support from his more than 6,000 followers. ‘Keep ‘em guessing mate,’ one man said. ‘Please don’t get caught, I am your big fan,’ another said.

Davidson tunnelled out of the overcrowded Bali prison with three other inmates in June. Two escapees were caught within days, while Davidson and another man remain on the run. Since his escape Davidson has continued to taunt the police with bizarre and provocative Facebook posts.  Davidson also created his own ‘wanted’ posters offering a ‘huge reward’ award for his capture. In the posters, which were met with a huge amount of support from his followers, he called himself a ‘gangsta, hustler, outlaw, ladies’ man and hide and seek champion’.

Davidson has also made a series of posts on Facebook claiming to be in various exotic locations across the globe. ‘Living the dream,’ he wrote in June, claiming to be in Amsterdam. He also went on a bizarre rant in early July. ‘I’m a real life action movie star, nah I’m just normal b, there ain’t no way a penitentiary is every holding me from Oz to Bali, Amsterdam to Germany, you better believe it when I say my life is no lie. I’m sipping on this cocktail on the beaches of Dubai [sic],’ he said.

Balinese authorities said in July they were ‘close’ to finding the fugitive. After the announcement, Davidson messaged Interpol, the world’s largest police organisation, asking them how close they really were to catching him. ‘How how’s it going, just wondering, when you say close, how close are you really?’ he wrote. Davidson claimed he was not trying to taunt police with his Facebook activity, instead just ‘having some fun and a laugh’ with his life. ‘I’m living my life just trying to make the best out of a bad situation,’ he said. [Daily Mail Australia August 15, 2017]


Stranded Ebony Silva to be granted Australian passport after five-year Bali fight

 Family and friends of Ebony Silva have long pleaded for government support to bring the nine-year-old back to Australia. But immigration officials had refused to renew the youngster’s passport without the signature of her estranged Indonesian mother. Her mother had taken Ebony’s original Australian passport and temporarily moved to Norway. She later returned but said she would only sign the renewal application if she was given $500,000.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal ruled yesterday that Ebony was “effectively trapped” in Indonesia and that she should be issued with a passport. Dad Peter Silva said he hoped to receive Ebony’s passport within the next fortnight. “The day after we get the passport we will get on the plane and come home,” Mr Silva said. “Ebony wants to see snow. It has taken five and half years to get this done. I’m over the moon.”

Administrative Appeals Tribunal senior member Egon Fice said the passport would allow Ebony “freedom of movement, to which she has a right”. He added: “I find that Ebony’s psychological and possibly physical welfare would be adversely affected if she were not permitted to return to Australia”. Mr Silva said the years of uncertainty had been “torture” for his family. He, his mother and prominent social worker Les Twenty had all lobbied the government and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for help. But Mr Silva said their pleas for help had gone unanswered. “This hasn’t been an Indonesian problem, this has been an Australian problem,” he said. “It’s been very unfair.”

Mr Twentyman, who heads the Les Twenty Foundation, said he was brought to tears by the news Ebony would be issued a passport. “It’s just unbelievable,” he said. “Over the years, I have at times felt the pain of her wonderful grandparents. But it’s finally happened.” Mr Silva said he was in the process of applying for Australian citizenship for his youngest son, Zak Agung, who was born in Bali. He said the family would fly home to Australia, but would return to live in Bali until the children were high school age. [Herald Sun August 18, 2017]


Former Afghan refugee, female pilot landing in Bali on solo flight around the world

 Afghan-American pilot Shaesta Waiz is due to land in Bali on Tuesday afternoon, one destination of many during her solo world tour. The 29-year-old, piloting a Beechcraft Bonanza A36, will be coming in from Singapore’s Seletar Airport, which was her 14th of 34 stops in at least 18 different countries. Waiz is scheduled to land in Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport at 12:35pm and is supposed to be greeted by officials from relevant agencies, including Airnav Bali, Pertamina, and Biomantara, according to Uzone.

After being greeted with a welcoming ceremony, Naiz is expected to head over to Kuta, where she is scheduled to stay three days, before setting off for her next stop, Darwin. Waiz, an engineering graduate, has said her 90-day solo journey around the world is to inspire the next generation of STEM & aviation professionals and has conducted multiple outreach events at each of her stops.

She kicked off her journey, which she calls the “Dreams Soar Mission,” in Daytona, Florida in July and will travel some 5,800km before circling around back to Florida in August. “Dreams are universal and don’t belong to just a certain group of people. So attempt every dream like they belong to you because they do,” says Waiz. Waiz’s family came over the US in 1987 at the end of the Soviet War in Afghanistan. Her dedication to flying has seen her become the youngest certified civilian pilot from Afghanistan. [Coconuts Bali August 15, 2017]


South African pair successfully evacuated from Bali’s Nusa Penida after clinging to islet

Two South African tourists who were dragged out by intense currents at Bail’s Nusa Penida island were successfully evacuated on Wednesday morning after being stuck on an islet for nearly 20 hours. Just a short boat ride away from Bali, Nusa Penida is a smaller, less-developed island that is becoming an increasingly popular destination for travelers.

Both South Africans, identified in reports as Daniel Anderson, 21, and Devin Grey, 39, are said to be in stable condition but covered in external wounds. The two reportedly went out spearfishing yesterday afternoon at Penida’s Atuh Beach around 3pm with another South African friend, Sean Sutton, 22, when they apparently got taken by surprise and dragged out to sea. While Sutton managed to swim back and make it to the beach on the mainland, the other two got stuck out at a rocky islet.

After hours of trying to reach the pair, the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) was finally able to evacuate them at 10am this morning. “We launched a search for the victims. At around 6pm, two of the victims were seen from the cliff edge of one of the islands around Atuh Beach. At that moment the condition of the tide was still low. The location of the island is difficult to reach,” Nusa Penida Police Chief Suastika told Tribun Bali on Wednesday. It’s understood that the three tourists had been camping out for the past three weeks around Atuh Beach, local residents told Tribun Bali. [Coconuts Bali August 9, 2017]


One dead when bus plunges into national park

An inter-provincial bus operated by Gunung Harta careened off the Denpasar-Gilimanuk highway into the edge of the West Bali National Park on Friday, August 18, 2017 reports that the accident at the KM 121-122 road point was caused when the bus was forced off the road by a truck traveling at a high rate of speed on the wrong side of the roadway at 2:00 am. The truck, traveling in the direction of Denpasar fled off into the night. Police say 9 passengers were injured in the mishap with one passenger who died at the scene. Police report that Sayut Abdullah (44) from Jember, East Java died in the bus accident. Police continue to investigate the accident. [ August 20, 2017]


Bali Chief of Police urges execution on site of policemen found involved in narcotics trade

NusaBali reports that Bali’s Provincial Chief of Police, Inspector General Petrus Golose has double-downed on earlier calls to fire and prosecute policeman found guilty of any illicit involvement with narcotic and is now urging that policeman involved in the use or trade of drugs be shot at the scene of the crime.

Inspector General Golose issued his stern warning at a ceremony destroying confiscated illegal alcohol and drugs at Bali Police Headquarters on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. In front of tens of the police personnel and guests, Bali’s top policeman forcefully restated his commitment in fighting narcotics. Golose said: “It is no longer a secret that members of the police are involved in narcotics. If there is a member of the police force involved in drugs I ask that they just be shot. Are we prepared to do this?”

Prior to being appointed the Head of the Bali Provincial Police, Golose served as the Head of the National Terrorism Mitigation Agency (BNPT). Golose told those in attendance that during the first six months of 2017, Police in Bali handled 572 narcotics-related cases, solving 526 cases (92%). The number of narcotics cases, he said, has increased substantially from 2016. Adding: “This has become a serious threat for the coming generations and the future of the Nation. I target to lower the number of illegal drug cases although it may be impossible to completely eliminate the problem.”

The ceremony at Bali Police Headquarters saw 7.9 kilos of marijuana and a 1.35-meter tall marijuana plant burnt by police.Also destroyed were 1.187 kilos of methamphetamines, 668 ecstasy pills, 4,213 liters of homemade moonshine (arak), and 1,732 or Imported alcohol. [ August 20, 2017]


American tourist arrested receiving parcel containing hashish at the Bali post office reports that the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNNP) have arrested a 32-year-old American tourist, identified only by the initials CB, caught in the process of receiving delivery of a shipment of hashish sent from Holland at the Sunset Road Post Office in Kuta on Tuesday, August 1, 2017. Two days earlier, the Sunset Road Postal Facility received four suspicious postal packages sent from Columbia, Holland, and Poland.

Postal inspectors sent the four packages to the police forensic laboratory that confirmed  the parcel sent from Holland contained 5.71 grams of hashish. The remaining three parcels tested negatively for any banned substance. BNNP enforcement officers immediately placed the post office under surveillance waiting to see who came to pick up the parcel containing narcotics. A short time later, the American tourist, CB, came to pick up the four packages all addressed to him. Police took the American and his parcels into custody while their official investigation continues. [www.balidiscovery.comAugust 13, 2017]


Bali 9 Australian Renae Lawrence won’t get out next year

Renae Lawrence, a member of the infamous Australian smuggling group the Bali Nine, has gotten six months knocked off her prison sentence, but that doesn’t mean she’ll get out next year, says the woman’s father. Lawrence, who’s currently serving out her sentence in Bali’s remote Bangli prison, received a remission for good behavior in concurrence with Indonesian’s Independence Day. It is customary for the country to reduce sentences ever so slightly during special holidays for well-behaved Indonesian and foreign prisoners alike.

While it was reported that Lawrence could see a release date of next year if her recommendation for a remission went through, that won’t be the case for the 39-year-old, because she’s got a “subsidiary sentence”: an extra six months on top of her sentence that she must serve unless she pays a $100,000 fee. “She won’t be getting out when they say she’s getting out because there’s a $100,000 fine she’s got to pay and we can’t pay that – we haven’t got it,” her father, Rob Lawrence told Australia’s 9 Network. “She’s going to have to do the extra time to cut it out.”

Upon her ultimate release, Lawrence will keep under the radar says her father, unlike former fellow Australian inmate, Schapelle Corby who has become an Instagram sensation since being deported back to Oz from Bali in May, post-parole. “She just wants to come home and get on with her life. She doesn’t want it to be like the Corbys,” Rob Lawrence said.

Lawrence was handed 20 years behind bars for her role in a 2004 heroin smuggling operation involving nine Australians called the Bali Nine. The group’s ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed by firing squad in April 2015. Since being locked up, she has reportedly already gotten reductions of more than five years for good behavior. [Coconuts Bali August 18, 2017]