A prominent Perth lawyer has described being “put down in the guts of Denpasar airport” over drama surrounding his passport.
John Hammond said Bali customs officials questioned him if his papers were forged after he landed on the tourist island for a holiday.
“I was told that my passport might be fake,” he told 6PR.
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“No, I wasn’t (with a fake). It had a small tear the size of a thumb nail. That’s why I believe I was held by security at the back of the airport.”
Hammond explained he was asked to read a statement confirming that “my passport was of poor quality and/or a fake”.
“I tried to impress the customs officer by saying, ‘Look, I’m a lawyer, I wouldn’t do that,'” he said.
“They threw me up and sent me back onto the next plane.”
Hammond was eventually given the green light to enjoy his holiday, but not before a final plea from Indonesian officials.
“I was then asked to sign a statement that I would never return to Bali with such a passport,” he said.
Bali’s strict passport rules, among the strictest in the world, have left many vacations in tatters.
Officials in the region will not accept documents that have been torn or damaged by water or passports that are less than six months valid.
Tourists have been turned away, and authorities can fine airlines $7,200 for importing passengers with unacceptable passports.
Perth-raised soccer star Sam Kerr was blocked by Jetstar from boarding a plane in 2019 over concerns immigration officials in Bali would not let the Matildas captain on.
A British couple has been prevented from enjoying a dreamy honeymoon in Bali because the groom’s passport was lightly chewed by their dog.
https://7news.com.au/news/bali/perth-lawyer-john-hammond-detained-in-bali-over-passport-issue-c-9713654 Perth lawyer John Hammond has been arrested over passport problems in Bali