A friend of an Australian woman said to have been seriously injured in a violent Bali bag snatch has broken her silence, admitting the original story was untrue.
Indonesian police last week dismissed claims that Bryon Bay hairdresser Emma Bell was the victim of a bag snatch which left her with head injuries and a fractured skull, requiring a medivac flight to Australia.
And now Emi Thompson, the friend who set up a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to raise money for Emma, has revealed the original version of events “was not entirely true”.
There was no mugging and in fact Emma fell off a motorbike without a helmet.
The other reported stories in this article have been confirmed by police.
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The paradise island of Bali is suffering from a trend in crime that is injuring tourists and putting their lives at risk.
Thousands of tourists rent scooters daily to get around the island which are making easy targets for criminals. What starts out as a basic theft often turns tragic when the thief grabs an unsuspecting tourists purse or cell phone as they drive by on a motorcycle.
This often leads to the tourists crashing or being pulled off the scooter resulting in serious injuries and death.
Criminals aren’t just targeting scooters. Tourists are also falling victim to purse snatches and phone grabs just walking down the street. What once was a peaceful and tranquil island has become a hotbed of recent criminal activity.
Earlier this week in another incident, 18-year-old high school graduate Lawson Rankin from Newcastle was left fighting for his life after he was thrown from his scooter while out riding with friends during a Schoolies trip.
According to his cousin Taren Brown, who has started a GoFundMe page, Mr Rankin was trailing two friends on a scooter when a local motorcycle rider snatched a phone belonging to a friend and sped off.
Mr Rankin, who studied at St Francis Xavier’s College on the NSW mid-north coast, took off around his friends’ bike in pursuit of the thief and the phone.
But that’s when tragedy struck and he was found moments later in a sewerage pipe, unconscious and with his head covered in cuts. He hasn’t woken from a coma since.
Tragically, it’s a brutal attack happening more and more on the island.
In another recent incident, Australian tourist Andrew Bateman said he and his 17-year-old daughter were forced to end their holiday early after they were thrown off their scooter by two locals wanting to get their hands on his new iPhone.
Mr Bateman and his “terrified” daughter were left severely injured in the street as the thieves raced away with his device
Receiving a broken shoulder, cracked collarbone and five snapped ribs, Mr Bateman said his daughter was lucky to walk away with just a fractured wrist and a few cuts to her arms and legs.
Earlier this year in another similar attack. a Singaporean couple on holiday in Bali were kicked off their scooter after thieves snatched a Samsung S10 device.
Mr Aathar suffered minor injuries, while Ms Ho had a concussion and a fractured shoulder, among other injuries.
It’s obvious the police may need to do something soon as locals have been taking the law into their own hands. In a recent video that went viral on Facebook, a purse snatcher is seen being beaten after being caught in the act.
I flew to Bali to witness first hand how the police are stepping up to help combat the rising crime against tourists.
The answer is unfortunate as the simple answer is…they aren’t.
There is no police presence.
There is no military presence.
Drugs are sold openly on the streets and it appers nothing is being done to curb crime.
Hopefully something is done soon before more tourists are injured or killed and tourism on the paradise island permanently begins to suffer.
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