A Gold Coast teen has returned from Bali vowing to never return to the holiday island.
McKenzie Weir was robbed during a trip to Bali last year, but thought he would give it another go and went back to celebrate his birthday in mid-April, along with his step-brother.
That’s when things went from bad to worse.
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The 19-year-old’s mum Jodee contacted myGC to share the horror story after reading about the tragic death of an Australian woman in Bali earlier this week.
Ella Knights, 26, was found by a passer-by lying face down in a gutter in North Kuta about 3am on Thursday. It’s believed the Sydney local was not wearing a helmet.
Jodee says she was very saddened by the news and felt compelled to share her son’s story.
“My son was in tears, he was shaking, he was saying ‘they’re gonna put me in jail mum’,” Jodee said.
She claims McKenzie and his step-brother, Anthony (both pictured above), were riding their scooters around midnight on Tuesday April 18 when a taxi pulled in front of them and slammed on the brakes.
McKenzie hit the vehicle and ended up with a nasty cut the length of his face and had a tooth knocked out (pictured below).
“He’s lucky he didn’t lose an eye,” Jodee says, explaining that they were both wearing helmets. “Otherwise he could have also been dead.”
The taxi driver followed them to the hospital and allegedly threatened them into handing over a large sum of money.
“We transfered everything we had over there,” Jodee recounts. “They took out $1,900 but the taxi driver wouldn’t accept that.”
“After many threats over the course of hours, he ended up calling the police and after about an hour and a half they came to an agreement of $2,600.”
“The (initial $1,900) transaction went through, but as soon as the Police walked away, the taxi driver said “if you don’t give me the rest of my money (the full $2,600) you’re gonna end up in a pit and you’ll never leave Bali and get home again’.”
After eventually paying the driver, and undergoing surgery to his face, McKenzie and Anthony were then in a race to the airport to get home.
The unexpected detour meant they missed their flight home, but are thankful to Virgin Airlines for putting them on a later flight at no extra cost.
All up, the horror experience cost the family $6,000. They do have travel insurance, but are not sure how much will be covered due to the circumstances.
“There was the $2,600 to the taxi driver, $400 to pay for the scooter and $3,000 for hospital costs.”
Jodee wants people to now think twice about going to the popular holiday spot.
The Department of Foreign Affairs recommends anyone heading overseas register with the Smart Traveller website.
If you get in to trouble in a foreign country, contract the local embassy.