Newspapers in India are reporting that a thirty year old male Indian passenger disappeared in the Strait of Malacca from the SuperStar Gemini operated by Star Cruises.

Rajkumar Agarwal, from Calcutta, India, was cruising with his extended family who boarded the SuperStar Gemini on October 4th. He is the youngest of three brothers and was involved in the family’s business.  

He was last seen around midnight on October 6th. 

SuperStar GeminiHis family is complaining that the cruise line is keeping them in the dark regarding what happened. 

Mr. Agarwal’s family did not know that he was missing from the ship until the next morning. 

The captain of the cruise ship allegedly said that CCTV cameras recorded someone going overboard around 12.22 A.M. but refused to show the footage to the family.

The cruise ship apparently did not have an automatic man overboard system which would have automatically signaled the bridge that a person went overboard and into the water. 

There apparently were not any type of search and rescue procedures initiated by the cruise line. 

The Malaysian police and the cruise line are apparently claiming that Mr. Agarwal committed suicide. This is a usual defense quickly raised by a cruise line. The newspaper says that the police are theorizing that Mr. Agarwal may have "lost heavily" at the casino. 

But a Calcutta newspaper says that family members describe Mr. Agarwal as "happy, cheerful" person with no history of suicide who "having a great time at the casino." 

You can read additional information here.

The disappearance was first reported on Professor Ross Klein’s website.

In March of this year, a passenger went overboard from the Star Cruises SuperStar Libra. His body was later recovered.  

Photo Credit:  Facebook via Telegraph of India

  • bikash agawral

    just received this mail from a co-passanger froom that cruise

    First off, I am very sorry about your loss and the predicament & frustration your family has been facing since last week.

    I was on the same trip and attaching my photo (below) so that perhaps the brother (Bikash or Parveen?) I initially met in the midship stairwell around Deck 7 or Deck 8 just after noon or so, might recognize me. (Please do not upload to social media or Internet as I try to keep a low digital profile). If he does not recognize me, I fully understand as he was naturally quite overcome with emotion.

    (I think I was wearing the same outfit on Wednesday October 7th when I met either Bikash or Parveen and also their Mother; the photo was taken onboard the Gemini)

    Below are some recent notes I made. My initial thought was to edit it as many of the comments will sound wholly insensitive to the plight of your family. However, if you can forgive me for its brusque tone & delivery, I think the original might be more useful. Perhaps some of the information (aside from the speculation) might be useful to your family’s external legal counsel.

    I’m wondering how much racial/ethnic typecasting & discrimination played a role in the treatment (or lack thereof) that the Agarwal family received? That is, what if they were a well-to-do (not appearing to have descended from convicts) white family from Australia or the US… would such a family have received the same standoffish treatment that I witnessed Wednesday afternoon in the Deck 7 reception lobby?

    That is, the distraught brothers with their mother surrounded by a group of Indian passengers (most who simply followed the brother I met to the Deck 7 reception lobby out of a basic interest in trying to help — they were not related to the family etc) and met with two middle-management employees of the ship (no navy blue jackets nor white uniforms indicating upper management or officers … instead pale yellow/beige tops) … one Asian (Chinese or Japanese.. I knew there was one Japanese manager in guest services, Toku, but I don’t think it was him) with crossed arms (as soon as I spotted him doing that as I approached from starboard, even without being able to hear the conversation, I groaned silently as it was a clear sign of a piss-poor attitude) and a larger Filipino staffer who stood stock-still – also poorly able to defuse the situation.

    When an older Indian gentleman whom I spoke with later, indicated the ship management ought to be doing more for the family, the Filipino staffer brusquely & rudely interjected “excuse me, but are you related to the family?” Clearly he hoped his words would somehow intimidate the older man into silence but that wasn’t to be. The gentleman responded simply & logically indicating “…we are all Indian …” (later when I spoke to him, he clarified his remark indicating it just wasn’t ‘Indians only’ but as passengers, how we had a moral duty to assist one another…as human beings). He was a decent man. Shortly after the two staffers indicated they were tired of talking and had done all they could, almost sharply, certainly rudely, turned on their heels and retired to offices located behind one of the reception desks on the forward side.

    I decided to approach the older gentleman, interrupting their discussion… and indicated that having worked with other embassies like the US Embassy etc., my guess was that there would be a Duty Officer at the Indian Embassy in Singapore, and with the time being early afternoon (Wed 7th), it’d be a good idea for someone to try and call them so that they’d have someone to ideally meet the family when the ship docked at 1900 in Singapore. They responded positively to my idea and tried to call out using their cell phones which didn’t look promising as there was no reliable roaming service from Malaysia out in the Malacca Straight. I suggested if anyone had WiFi service (I didn’t), they ought to consider a VOIP service like Skype … and I think one of them finally figured it out. By that time I left to look for my family … which I had been doing until I ran into one of the very upset brothers in the midship stairwell who basically alerted me with a cry “can anyone help me?!” Initially, I thought his brother had just gone overboard and was about to use the ship’s phone to dial ’25’ for ‘Man Overboard’ but then heard more as he explained it to a nearby couple, indicating it had been almost 12 hours prior. (I was the one who recommended they proceed to the reception desk on Deck 7 as I erroneously assumed that somehow the front of office would be able to assist him and his family).

    I may have mentioned this but I was dumbfounded by the lack of response by the ship’s crew. For any sort of crisis like this, I would have provided the distraught family with a private room and a staffer (surely they use them for their VIP high rollin’ gambling guests who get comp’d). While they might not have still been able to provide them with footage from the CCTV cameras, they could have at least provided support like using the ship’s comms to call the Indian Embassy, assist with packing, processing through Immigration and overall disemarkation …

    30% owned 368MW Lanco Kondapalli power plant (Phase I), 366MW Phase II power plant and a 732MW Phase III power plant that is yet to be commissioned;
    41.55% owned 113MW Lanco Tanjore power plant in Tamil Nadu and
    100% owned 91.8MW Jangi wind farm in Gujarat.
    Regarding alleged casino losses… I don’t know the laws or regulations regarding disclosure of offshore casino gambling but surely Genting Group would know exactly how much Raj Kumar Agarwal gambled (or didn’t). And, if alleging somehow gambling losses were involved, why not simply disclose it rather than imply it?

    The revenues from the casino, most people do not realize, can be more significant than the revenues from the room tariffs & F&B. Basically at under 1500 passengers, the ship reports about 1/4th the business of its larger cousins… however, once in a while, in that 3-4 day voyage you get a ‘whale’. For example, $4 million USD in losses for one punter on one trip … how is this known by even someone like me? Any staff on board can look up a guest on the computers and such information becomes widely known amongst the crew – and by simply engaging the crew during the trip,I was able to uncover these tidbits. However to lose that much, you likely need to have had an established account with the casino… and, I highly doubt the young Rajkumar Agarwal was that kind of punter! …most of these big spenders/high rolling gamblers (with money to lose or in many cases, to launder) are from mainland china (PRC)… my Singaporean Chinese guide indicated to me “… ah, probably a Chinaman…” Looking at my puzzled reaction (‘Chinaman’ is basically a perjorative term in almost every context that I can imagine), he clarified “PRC”… and then explained that’s how they referred to the mainlanders. If anything, there is an absolute lack of political correctness in SE Asia… that’s almost refreshing, if not blunt.