A 34-year old British man on holiday in Jakarta has allegedly been caught in the act of smuggling a banned commodity into the country, accordingly to reports by Indonesian-language media. Surprisingly, the banned substance was not an illegal drug, liquor, cigarettes or other commonly-smuggled item; in this case, it was the man’s collection of ‘gay emojis’ which were found saved on his smartphone.
According to reports by local media outlets, ‘gay emojis’, or gay-friendly icons used in popular social networking & messaging apps, have been the focus of a recent crackdown by authorities in the nation. While homosexuality is technically legal in Indonesia, there are no laws against sexuality-based discrimination and the ban on ‘gay emojis’ was implemented to avoid causing ‘public upset’. A popular smartphone messaging app recently agreed to remove all gay-related emojis following a request from the Indonesian government. In the case of the British man caught with a collection of ‘gay emojis’, members of the public alerted the authorities after he was observed sending and receiving the gay-friendly icons while sipping on the milk of a young coconut at a Jakarta café.
The ensuing investigation revealed the man’s smartphone contained over 100 ‘gay emojis’, well over the maximum that foreigners are allowed to bring into Indonesia. “All the bad emojis were deleted from his phone,” commented a source involved in the investigation, “We’ve replaced them all with good emojis.” Investigators declined to comment on how an emoji depicting ‘an official pocketing a thick wad of Indonesian Rupiah’ constitutes a ‘good emoji’.