The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested a cruise passenger last week after it was discovered that he installed a secret camera in a public bathroom on a cruise ship sailing from Miami on a cruise to the Caribbean.
An affidavit from a FBI agent verified that on April 29th, Jeremy Froias boarded the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas in Miami for a seven-day cruise to Philipsburg, St. Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Coco Cay, Bahamas, returning to Miami last Saturday, May 6th. On April 30th, Froias installed a “hidden Wi-Fi camera in a public bathroom on the aft of the Harmony‘s top deck between the ‘Flow Rider’ surfing stimulator and a bar:
After the camera had been operational for around 24 hours, a passenger noticed it and informed the crew on May 1st. Security personnel then searched the bathroom and found the hidden camera. The camera had a memory card inserted which included several hours of video files.
Initial videos showed Froias installing the camera and, later, returning to the bathroom to adjust the angle of the camera, focusing the video on the toilet area. The video also shows Froias taking his Apple iPhone 14 Pro-Max out of his pocket and connecting the phone to the hidden camera via Wi-Fi. Froias’s iPhone can be seen in the video, and it appears to be displaying the video feed being captured by the camera.
The videos “depict more than 150 individuals, including what appear to be at least 40 minors . . . Some of the minors appeared to be as young as four or five years old.”
You can read the affidavit and the photographs of the bathroom and hidden camera filed into the court record here.
“Individuals are seen coming into the bathroom to either use the toilet or to change into or out of swimsuits. Froias’s camera captured these individuals in various stages of undress, including capturing videos of their naked genitals, buttocks, and female breasts.”
Ship security interviewed Froias who admitted to placing the hidden camera in the bathroom.
Froias has now been charged with 18 USC 1801 (video voyeurism) and 18 USC 2252(a)(5)(B) (attempted possession of child exploitation material).
A number of newspapers in San Juan have covered the disturbing story which has not yet been reported by the media in Miami or the national press.
The FBI office in San Juan Division is seeking to identify potential victims. The FBI states that it believes the Froias “primarily targeted cruise ship passengers between the timeframe of April 30 and May 1, 2023, who may have used the public bathroom on the aft of the Harmony’s top deck between the ‘Flow Rider’ surfing simulator and a bar. Passengers using this bathroom may have been video recorded by Froias.”
If you and/or your minor dependent(s) were victimized or have information relevant to this investigation, the FBI asks that you please fill out this short form.
The question is did Royal Caribbean notify any of the passengers, before they left the ship on May 6th when the ship returned to Miami, that they and their children were probably secretly video recorded if they went into the bathroom in question on April 30th or May 1st? Royal Caribbean knew sometime on May 1st of the secret camera and that at least 150 guests had been the victims of video voyeurism.
This is not the first time that video voyeurism has occurred on a cruise ship. Four years ago, a couple traveling with their young son on the Carnival Fantasy discovered a small video camera hidden in the bundled cables, behind the television in their cabin, which pointed toward their bed.
Just two months ago, a crew member was caught filming women in a children’s bathroom on the MSC Meraviglia.
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May 9, 2023 Update;
The federal docket sheet in the U.S. v. Froias case 3:23-mj-00487-GLS case, mentions that a “detention hearing” took place yesterday morning. The federal court ordered Froias released on these terms and conditions:
“Defendant is to be released subject to the qualification of his wife as a TPC (i.e., “third party custodian”). Defendant is to post a $25,000 unsecured bond to be signed by him and the TPC. He is to reside at the address of record. Defendant is not to have unsupervised contact with any minors under the age of 18, including his two children. His two children will reside at the alternate address proposed by counsel (grandparents’ residence). The Defendant is to be subject to an EMD (i.e., “electronic monitoring device”) in home detention modality. He is to seek and maintain employment. Defendant is not to have any access to the internet, including in his residence or at work (which seems impossible given the apparent fact that he works as a cyber expert with a background of many years working with computers and computer networks). He is to surrender his passport. Travel is restricted between Puerto Rico and Middle District of Florida (where he apparently lives and works). All other travel is subject to approval and coordination with the USPO (U.S.parole officer) and the Court. Courtesy supervision to be coordinated with the Middle District of Florida . . ,”
A $25,000 bond seems inappropriate, given evidence Froias secretly transmitted & videotaped “more than 150 individuals” including “what appears to be at least 40 minors,” including some “minors (who) appeared to be as young as four or five years old” (per the FBI affidavit filed into the court filing).
May 10, 2023 Update:
Image credit: Harmony of the Seas (top) – kees torn – UNION BEAR, Harmony of the Seas & EN AVANT 20, CC BY-SA 2.0 commons / wikimedia; photo of bathroom on Harmonu\y of the Seas – FBI via CRIMINAL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 3:23-mj-00487-GLS-1.