The FBI arrested a crew member working on a cruise ship sailing out of Bayonne, New Jersey for abusive sexual contact of a passenger after he allegedly snuck into her cabin while she was sleeping. 

According to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in federal court in New Jersey, the federal government alleges that crew member KARAN SEECHURN violated Title 18, United States Code, Section 2244(a)(2). This statute defines as a crime to knowingly engage in sexual contact with an adult female including the intentional touching, directly and through the clothing, of the Karan Seechurn Quantum of the Seasgenitalia, without the victim’s permission, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade . . . 

The arresting FBI officer’s investigation led to the filing of an affidavit which states in pertinent part: 

"On or about December 23, 2014, defendant KARAN SEECHURN was a male employee, on board a cruise ship, which embarked from Bayonne, New Jersey, traveled to the Bahamas, and disembarked in Bayonne, New Jersey on December 27, 2014.

Defendant KARAN SEECHURN was employed by the cruise line and was responsible for re-stocking the minibars located in passengers’ rooms. In order to conduct this duty, he was provided with a key that provided access to passengers’ rooms. On or about December 23, 2014, KARAN SEECHURN used this key to access passengers’ rooms when he was not authorized or permitted to do so.

On or about December 23, 2014, a female passenger (the “Victim”) was sleeping in her room aboard the cruise ship. While the Victim was asleep, defendant KARAN SEECHURN entered the Victim’s room without her knowledge and permission. The Victim awoke to find one of defendant KARAN SEECHURN’s hands touching her genitalia, she pushed him off her and she tried to leave the room, but he pulled her back and threatened to burn down the cruise ship if she told anyone."

The FBI agent didn’t identify the name of the cruise ship or cruise line. This is often done as a matter of professional courtesy by the FBI so as not to embarrass the cruise lines which often hire former FBI agents to work in the cruise lines’ security department. There are numerous news outlets referring only to an "unidentified" cruise ship.  

The only cruise ship calling on the ports at the times identified in the affidavit is Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, the Quantum of the Seas.  In addition, a search of the crew member’s name reveals that such a crew member works for Royal Caribbean and is from Mauritius. The Department of Justice’ press release says that the crew member is from Mauritius.

The crew member is scheduled to appear in Newark federal court today.

It’s a dangerous practice to give male cabin attendants or mini-bar attendants a master key to passenger cabins. Prior sexual assaults have occurred on Royal Caribbean ships under similar circumstances.

Royal Caribbean touts the Quantum as the most technological advanced cruise ship on the high seas. It’s too bad that the cruise line didn’t use old school technology and deactivate the master keys and cards to passenger cabins after hours.  

December 30, 2014 Update: Many crew members have reacted to this story by blaming the victim and feeling sorry for the alleged assailant. (see comments below and our our Facebook page).  They recklessly accuse the victim of lying or tricking the crew member or looking for a lawsuit. These type of outrageous, misogynous comments reflect cultural issues on cruise ships which breed an atmosphere of contempt for women passengers that leads to sexual assaults. The problem is that this dangerous attitude is displayed not just by low level crew members but by the male-dominated managers and supervisors who decide how the victim is treated after the assault and make decisions regarding whether to report the crime to the authorities.   

 

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Photo Credit: Facebook

  • Ronnie John

    This sounds totally fabricated someone wants a lawsuit or A free cruise

  • Lori

    Again you are so right. I would hope they read your blog and receive your news emails to make the deactivation of the master keys a fleet wide move to prevent future crimes.

    Thanks for the information.

    Happy New Years to you and yours.

  • Patricia Goodell

    I’m not blaming the victim as you expect to be safe on a cruise ship but a simple
    turn of the deadbolt would have prevented him from gaining access to her cabin.
    We always use the deadbolt when we are showering or sleeping. I have been on
    Quantum and Karan did come to our cabin to fill our minibar!!

  • kenneth chevalier

    why did the bar utility have a master key after hours to restock the mini bar that is not the common practice?

  • rafael gutierrez mendoza

    It is better if FBI send some people on board all the ships and trying to get some stupidness like this check for people moving drugs from inside to outside in all companies……

  • BHUGWATH MAHESWAR

    I am from mauritius ,its very assume for me to heard about this .I am a old sailor the company or agents they don’t want to hirer seaman like me I have lots of experiences in cruise ship,the company or agents hiring young generation peoples so this the result of the new generation,

  • Rhonda Robinson

    Hope they take this serious or they will lose business
    we go on royal Caribbean every year for the past 4yrs.. we love it.. so far

  • Annelize Delport

    Most of these young people that works on the cruiselines, goes through strict medical and security checks. They get tested for alcohol and drugs on a regular basis. There is so many young woman on the ships, making themselves available OR acting that they are willing. So why would this crew member who knows the rules, putting his life and name out there for this ‘specific girl’. Surely there must be CCTV footage if there were any interaction between the two people before he went to he room.

  • Cherryno Jean Cyril Jawaheer

    Im one of the first mauritian going on board rccl in 2007 there we wete train about yhose thing throw louise t&d manager we know so much how thing goes onboard..may be karan been trapped by the lady victime some time lady unvite guys just to pretend those thing as it well said in those traing when we get onboard now need to know how much the lady will ask the company ..it a shame for we mauritian as we are considered to be the future of this company but for me that why I left it so many ?????

  • Active Cruiser

    All I have to say is that unless you work for a cruise line, do not assume that your input is correct. There is a lot that these companies do to try to deliver the safest vacation possible and a lot of crew who work their butts off to ensure that. Just like your local crimes at home, on ships crew also share a local community made up of 60 or more nationalities where every once in awhile a bad apple arises. These situations are handled and like home are handed over to law enforcement for further investigation. There is a lot that goes in behind the scenes to ensure that incidents like this are handled and not repeated. And unfortunately there is a mix of legit cases that compete with false accusations for guests attempting at a free cruise via fraud. Unfortunately this does happen. However, I applaud the cruise lines for doing the best they can to keep situations like this from arising more often. This means that something is being done to correct these unfortunate events (i.e. lots and lots of training covering laws, regulations, and expectations of crew members). I know that Royal Caribbean doesn’t tolerate any level of crime (as my friend who works there has informed me) and will assist in prosecuting even their own employees to the fullest extent of the law(s) in any port of call when laws are broken. So do not be discouraged justice is being served. I hope to join ships soon to help make memorable cruise vacations. I hope to see you out there!

  • Tamer Demirbilek

    I worked for Royal Caribbean for 17 years in Dining Room and Speciality Restaurants as a Supervisor. Resign from the job a year ago for health reasons. I have seen many cases as this one on board however most of these cases was a trap, made by people intend to open lawsuit against th company. I have seen people looking for a faulty place to fall on the floor just to get a money from the company or some kind of compansation. I have been in situation which the father of a under age girl (18) asked me to take his doughter to the beach or outside, of course i refused, I have received a cabin invitation note given by womens in my hand or placed in my pocket many times. I have experienced woman touching my legs while i was taking meal order. I have faced many abuse during 17 years reported only one of them because this woman was very desperate. Honestly i dont believe in this story, it sounds to me very fishy. Bar guys who is responsible to refill mini bars given a master key as the cabin attendants to do their job while guest is not in the cabin. None of the employee would have the courage to touch the woman at her genital parts while she is sleeping by knowing that she would wake up. These guys dont get this job so easily, life in their country is not so easy, if he need a woman he could go outside in any caribbean islands and could have sex with prostatute for 40 dollars. I am %100 sure he was invited there as part of trap. Yes he was stupid and entered in the room, yes he is guilty to buy that trap. But woman is deinatelly is not innocent…..thats my thought based on 17 years of experience..

  • Zsolt Matrai
  • kostas

    Poor man ..fake story for free cruise , I am kind of sure

  • kevin seelah

    hi..am crew of celebrity..sometime guests onboard want to have free cruis the room..no cctv as well for proof..the guiling or something else which she might get after winning that case..nobody will know what has been occur insidety will be punished only for accessing in wrong time..

  • tinikini

    Well…as long as most everyone posting here is profiling and blaming the alleged victim, how about we profile and blame the alleged attacker. NOTICE HOW I SAID ALLEGED!!!!

    The picture posted of Karan looks to me like he thinks he is god’s gift to every woman. He looks manicured and is in good shape. Look at those guns!!! He looks cocky and arrogant and thinks that all women want to have sex with him because he is Mr. Wonderful. Oh, and look at his party hat, bet he is lots and lots of fun. He just looks like someone who would treat you real sweet and then come back and rape you. The statement I just wrote in this paragraph is called profiling.

    Too bad Karan is so stupid and arrogant. Must be because he comes from a third world country where there are no morals. Otherwise he would have not snuck into a women’s cabin in the middle of the night to do her harm. The statement I just wrote in this paragraph is called blaming.

    The point of these two paragraphs is I had no right to write either one of them because I don’t know Karan. It is totally unfair of me to profile and blame when I know NOTHING about the situation or the people involved. You must let the law take care of things whether you agree with the laws or not.

    Rape is a horrible, life changing event and should be taken seriously. How would you like to be raped, female or male, and not be taken seriously?? No one deserves to be raped under any circumstances!!!!

    Jim stated it well in his update about cultural differences. In my opinion some vacationers do let it all hang out while traveling, it is all part of getting away from the daily stress and grind. While someone from another country may not agree with a certain behavior of someone from another country, you must remember the differences in culture and if you can not handle the cultural differences and respect them, then you should not be working on a ship. You should not under any circumstances be attacking the passengers, except in self defense, and you should certainly not be using your pass key in the middle of the night to gain access to a woman’s cabin. It is just plain wrong, I don’t care where you come from.

    I am truly wondering if I ever want to cruise again, especially as a woman. We have always had great experiences cruising and we have had the most amazing crew and loved them all. I wonder if the reason we do not have problems is because my husband is a big man who would hunt someone down, whoop their ass, and throw them overboard if they touched me.

  • edna waterhouse

    my husband and I along with my Sister and her husband have traveled on several royal Caribbean ships and have never seen or heard anything but wonderful waiters cabin stewards and all the people on the ship ‘ they are all polite and do a great job. R.C. is my favorite and we have been on others but nothing compares . Keep up the good work.

  • Cherryno Jean Cyril Jawaheer

    tiniin dint be so suck off because u dont know our country im frim mauritius also so dont talk about myIisland ok cause here we live in peace and harmony it is the paradise of the indian ocean where people is multicultural and leave together in peace so fir compasion to karan all mauritian should leabe those ship life and come back home caude we dont miss job on our island back to motherland guys

  • Angela monroe

    We were on the Quantum Dec 20-27, when this allegedly happened. They sure kept it quiet. I would assume there is more than one person that stocks the mini bars, but this was not the one who stocked our bar. The guy who came to our room was black.

  • Here’s a statement from the cruise line’s corporate communications department:

    “This crew member’s actions are completely unacceptable and a blatant violation of our policies and procedures. Royal Caribbean International maintains strict policies governing employee interaction with guests. Crew members are not permitted to be in guest staterooms, except for the performance of their shipboard duties. Due to the violation of this policy, the crew member in question is no longer employed by Royal Caribbean.”

  • Debbie

    This whole thing is very sad. It is also very sad to read these comments, the one from Tamer is most troubling. Royal Caribbean’s statement in itself says that Karen was fired for violating company policy by being in the room when he should not have been. As a female traveler on RCCL I have found such an opposite experience than these above comments. I did have on one cruise an uncomfortable occurrence and let me tell you in my case when I told Royal about it my safety was their number one concern and at the next port they had the people put off the ship. It is sad to read all these comments blaming the victim. I know the two Quantum cruises I went on, I paid a premium price for these cruises and I can’t imagine someone paying so much for a cruise to just scam the cruise line. If that was her intention she could have just taken a RCCL cruise for 199.00 to do that.

  • Cesar

    When i worked on celebrity Summit I was accused of sexual assault together with an argentine crew member, it happened in Bermuda, she said she was abused, that never happened, we were on jail for 5 days, even when they knew and had the result from the doctor that such a thing did not happen. However when she went back to the ship she asked the captain for a free cruise, for her and her family, she was a crew member, from Canada. After this situation I went back home, they told me i was fired, I asked why, because there was no reason, she only wanted something else from the company, they told me to talk to Mary Chausse, HR of the company by email. I got back home, talk to Ms. Mary Chausse, she told me that I was able to go back to the ship, I went back, finish my contract, after 3 weeks during my vacation they called me to say that they did not want to hire me anymore and the decision was final. Well, I really feel like a fool, i could have demand them, but I assume that they were sorry anf apologize for everything that happened. Never trust this companies. They are the worst!

  • crewmember

    I cant believe , Royal Caribbean , after all the effort that this people from all over around the world make, following the rules and trainings to DELIVER THE WOW TO THE GUEST dont recieve any kind of support from the company, the company knows about this kind of set up ,fake show from this lady,company had been in bussines for a long time , many cases like these showed up before, in other hand i have to admit that Karan is very stupid for felt in the trap of this lady, unfortunately the words of the victim is more powerful than the crewmember. Im a crewmember and situations like these , invitations , happened to me in the past, but ofcourse im not a kid that people can cheat so easy, passangers onboard are hungry for money and privileges , they look for the first oportunity to suck as much money as they can from this big company, people dont know how hard is to deal with this kind of ,gold, platinium, emerald guest. They behave like the master owner of the ship and think that crewmembers are slaves that they bought for as long the cruise longs, cruise lines are the modern way of slavery.

  • CrewMember of Royal

    Thank you Jim Walker for allowing people to write comments here for that news. Everyone might have different perspective of how they look in to this case, there is a bit of right in every comment made by some cruise guests and crewmember. I also will make what i think about this situation aldough it will not make any difference. I worked for Mostly Royal Caribbean in the past more than 10 years. I used to be a waiter in the main dining room and got promoted in the years. we cant know exactly what happened there so it is easy to write here what happened really. I read all comments and said “wow everyone act like FBI agent already”. I am not blaming anyone but i will support some of the comments. I will take Tamer Demirbilek, tinikini, Cesar and crewmember comments as an example. On the time i worked i have seen many crew got fired for simmilar reasons. almost %90 of those cases crew get catched by security when they exit from guest cabin or security realize something is cooking between guest annd crew and they starts to follow them and finally they catch the crew and they fire from the job in next port of call where they can fly the crew back home. In most of these cases they push the girl in the corner to explain or admit what happen. Half of the ladies accuse the crew for entering the room without their permition and abusing them for sexual contact. the reason why is they afraid either their boyfriend or family or husband will hear what happen, so they can clean themselves from the situation. Other %10 is lady guests acting extremely friendly which makes the crew feel he is wellcomed to guest cabin, which is completely wrong. All crew came from different coutries and they all trained for to be careful in these kind of situation. If they still go to guest cabin this is their stupidness. however none of the crew would go to guest cabin unless they been invited. In this case it says she was sleeping (doesnt say night or day) which i have doubht about that. Crew member Karan could go to any crew member cabin on board, there are many good looking girls working on the ship. Why he went to this one especially? Victim claim that “Karan treathen her to burning down the ship”, what a story !!!! So simle accusation, he could easily do that with knife as well right? My thought in this she is faking, at first he was invited there however things went wrong from both side. I have been in many guest cabin in the past, it was more easy in the past when there was no CCTV’s all over. I used to pay the security to guide the passenger girl to my cabin. They were all dying for these kind of adventure. At once i was working on midnight buffet i met a girl there, she was so desperate about coming to my cabin after 10 minute talk. explained her how she can reach to my cabin, she did not came alone she came with another girl, you can imagine the rest. As crew Tamer abowe, i have experienced so many crasy stuff, at once there was a man invited me to cabin to have sex with his wife and he wanted to watch. Did i go there ?? “hell no”. What made me sick was when the parents of a young girl ask you to spend time with their doughter. I have never done so, i would never knew what would cross their mind by asking something like that…At one there was a table i serve. Table of 8 person they were all friend, only 2-3 guys and 5-6 woman. I have been harrased by a woman almost everyday, I couldnt take it anymore and reported to my manager and he did report to security Manager. On same day she gave me her room number written in a piece of paper told me I must go there tonight.. I had enough of it and said I cant do that. Next thing she did was to complain about me that i have been harrasing her all week and some of her friends were supporting her. Thanks God i already reported what was happening also one of the guy told the truth. They disembark the guest in next port and changed my tables i serve… At the end many of you dont know whgat is going on there. Better wait and see what will happen. But i must say this guy Karran was stupid to go in the cabin with master key, he knew she would wake up anyway, why he did not knock the door instead, For sure he would not do such a stupidness if he did not think he was wellcome there. He should be more smarter than that, I know this guy worked with him at few ships, i was not friend with him however he seem ok to me.

  • Azzam Jaber

    This is not the 1st and will not be the last story about sexual harassment accusations. There should be some rules and regulations to stop this from happening. A lot of temptations from both sides, and unless careful and fully prepared things might happen. I feel sorry for the boy if he was innocent, but sorry for the girl if she was innocent too. Only God knows what happened!!

  • Seeboruth Mahen

    This is for Bhagwath Maheshwar. Vieux piln to pa kone ki to pe koze. Gagnuth finn augment pention. Pten to retrait dan plass to vinn travail dan bato. Vieux piln nou pa bizin ici. Si to pa kone ki finn arrive, to boys to fesse. Al vend bajia ek gato piment gopia

  • Quantum crew

    Hi I’m a quantum crew..yeah he valiolate the company policy.. Wat about the company keep him over eleven month on board.. He supposed to sign off the ship on October they postponed for November,on November two days before he signed off they told him he will stay on board until January.. U think is that fair???? Come and check how quantum crew r working so hard,13hrs a day..where are the company policy??? Company policy say 10hours.. N not getting paid as it use to be… Guest r paying gratuity and the company using them to pay other to people like managers n so on… Good luck for my colleagues who still on QuaNtuM me already gave my resignation ..no more royal Caribbean.. in one month atleast 30 resignation most of zem restaurants crew bcoz guest paying gratuity for waiter n waiter assistant company using it to pay manager s room service attendant cafe attendant n so on…now where is the company policy???? well There are too much to say..

  • The Phantom of the Music Hall

    I was on Quantum of the Seas during the sailing in question. While I never encountered Mr. Seechurn and this story was kept VERY quiet on board, I can attest that there were definitely some shenanigans going on with the in-room mini-bars and the staff refilling them. I will say that we never heard anything about the incident, but from Christmas Eve on ship’s security was very conspicuous and I did encounter at least one female guard making rounds in the hallways in the mid-afternoon.

    Two days into the Cruise (12/22) the minibar attendant barged into my room without knocking. He apologized vaguely but ignored the fact that I was getting changed to go to the pool (I didn’t bolt the door because I was literally changing t-shirts and shoes), gave a cursory check of the warm minibar goods on top and then looked in the fridge. He kind of looked around the room and said “Good day” and left. It was strange and I mentioned it to my Stateroom Attendant who made a good faith effort to “look into it.” The next day I had a $14 charge to minibar despite the fact that I never took anything. I asked my Stateroom attendant who brushed it off as “Probably the last guest and he’d take care of it.” The charge remained, I went to guest services and the charge was deleted without incident, almost before I could finish the sentence. They again explained it as “probably from the last guest.” I did notice that my minibar was replenished with new items (i.e., not dusty from never being using) after I went to guest services. I also noticed that several items on my desk were touched and moved. A book that was open spine up was closed with the front cover facing up (without the bookmark in place!), the magazines on my desk were not in the space I left them (and if memory serves, they were not in the order I kept them in). I again addressed this to my Stateroom Attendant who was very worried about me reporting things beings touched in my room. He did actually ask two other members of my party (with their own rooms) if they noticed anything had been moved and I overheard him asking my neighbors. Clearly something needs to be done about the minibar attendants who guests are not likely to see and be able to report on having all-access keys. (Maybe just eliminate the minibar all-together and make it room service?)

    On the last day while waiting for my disembarking group in my room, a different minibar attendant came in and checked the fridge and he found two bottles of water that were opened and refilled with tap water that were from non-Ship brands. He asked me if they were mine, casually, and I said “Nope. Never opened the mini-bar.” He nodded and asked if anyone had been by before. “Yes, someone came a few days back to check the bar.” “Oh, they should have removed these then. Sorry that didn’t happen.”

  • Friend of a customer

    This story is 100 percent legit. One of my co-workers was on that same cruise and Karan walked into his room around 6am. When he woke up and followed him outside to ask what was going on, Karan apologized and said he was drunk. The next day my co-worker’s girlfriend ran into an older woman who warned her to lock up at night. Apparently Karan had entered her room as well and creepily stood over her bed until she awoke. When she asked what he wanted he said “you called for me”. She then had to push him out of the room when he refused to leave. Better get your ship in check RC!

  • L.

    Like others, I’m bothered by the victim blaming statements, the claims that the vacationer “trapped” the employee. There’s no credible evidence of that. Unfortunately sexual assault myths are alive and expounded in the age of internet willful ignorance.

    This clearly sounds like a case of an employee using an access key to intimidate and assault a woman guest. He was not caught coming out of her room, the victim had to flee her room to escape him. That’s not damage control from getting caught in a fling or the notion of a ridiculous ‘honeytrap’ lawsuit, that’s a crime.

  • BBear

    1) Someone mentioned we always use dead bolt.
    Dead bolts will not stop a crew member from entering your room. They have their ways in emergency to get in your cabin even if it is dead bolted.
    2) Someone wrote how do we know this happened?
    All ships have cameras in all hallways that would catch whether crew walked in, or the door was opened for him. Most crew ships have strict no socializing with passengers, and most even will not allow Officers to socialize with crew beyond ordered get togethers/functions.
    If this crew member was invited he still violated company policy of socializing with passengers.