Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Fugitive Nabbed in Bali After Dramatic Escape

Andrey Kovalenko fled the immigration office on Indonesia's resort island of Bali to avoid deportation and was caught again after two weeks on the run. Sonny Tumbelaka / AFP

A Russian fugitive whose dramatic sprint out of an Indonesian immigration office was captured on CCTV has been caught again after two weeks on the run, authorities said Wednesday.

Andrey Kovalenko fled the office on Indonesia's resort island of Bali to avoid deportation, with the surveillance footage showing him keeping pace on foot with a motorcycle as he escaped.

Authorities fanned out across the island in the hunt for Kovalenko, who was nabbed early Wednesday at a villa in tourist hub Kuta along with girlfriend Ekaterina Trubkina, who was wanted for allegedly assisting his escape.

His dash for freedom on Feb. 11 came as officials readied to deport Kovalenko back to Russia on an Interpol warrant.

The 32-year-old had just finished a prison term following a 2019 arrest for selling hashish to tourists in Bali.

The Interpol warrant was linked to a drugs case back in Kovalenko's home country, said Eko Budianto, head of the immigration division at Bali's justice and legal agency.

Trubkina, 31, also Russian, could face up to nine months in prison if convicted of assisting Kovalenko's escape, authorities said. 

Indonesian authorities have previously caught international fugitives wanted by Interpol who sought to hide in Bali. 

In July last year, Bali police arrested Marcus Beam, an American fugitive accused of scamming $500,000 from women he met online between 2015 and 2019.

Beam had been hiding in Bali with his girlfriend where he worked as a porn actor-director.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.