Content Warning: This article contains references to child sexual abuse, animal abuse and sexual assault of minors.

Two crew members were arrested last Sunday at PortMiami for possession of child pornography, bringing the total number of crew members arrested in South Florida in just the last five months to twelve. Miami-Dade police arrested the cruise ship employees last weekend “after cabin searches turned up both child sexual abuse material and bestiality videos on both of their cellphones,” according to Miami Local 10 News.

The local news station reports that U.S. Customs and Border (CBP) Protection agents searched the cabins of Igedeboy Mardika (top photograph), a 28-year-old Indonesian national, and Sreerag Vazhayil (bottom photograph), a 32-year-old Indian national, at PortMiami on Sunday. CBP agents “discovered videos of both boys and girls being raped and sexually abused by both men and women; the victims were as young as preschool-aged.”

Vazhayil possessed a “video of a man having sex with a horse, while Mardika had three videos of women having sex with a horse, a dog and a pig,” according to Miami-Dade Police. Mardika also distributed a child sexual abuse video, police said, although the details of this charge were not disclosed.

These two crew members are being criminally charged by prosecutors in the state criminal justice system in this state. Florida is the only state in the U.S. with statutes empowering state law enforcement and state prosecutors to investigate, arrest and prosecute individuals on cruise ships which depart from and return to Florida.

Mardika faces 16 felony charges related to the possession and promotion of child sexual abuse material, along with three counts of possessing bestiality videos.

Vazhayil faces seven felony charges related to the possession of child sexual abuse material as well as one charge of possessing a video depicting sexual conduct with animals.

We have reported on ten other crew members working on cruise ships calling on Miami and Fort Lauderdale who have been arrested on child pornograpy charges since February of this year:

2 Carnival Crew Members:

Iputuagus Karnawan, a/k/a Putu Karnawan (age 28), reportedly worked for Carnival Cruise line in the galley as a cook on the Carnival Conquest. Imadewisma Dana (also age 28), also reportedly worked a cook on the Carnival Conquest. These two Carnival employees were arrested for possession of child sexual abuse materials after they were apprehended last week at PortMiami with child pornography on their phones.

Imadewisma Dana (left), Iputuagus Karnawan (upper right), Carnival Conquest (right).

3 Royal Caribbean Crew Members:

Iwayan Pasek Brahmantara, age 32,(Royal Caribbean assistant waiter on the Wonder of the Seas), Komang Parianta, age 33, (Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas), and Zin Naing Htun, age 36, (Royal Caribbean, ship unknown) were all arrested on charges of possessing child pornography. Brahmantara allegedly had two videos on his phone of girls as young as 5 years old being sexually assaulted by men and a video of a female “engaging in sexual intercourse with a horse.”

Zin Naing Htun (left), Iwayan Pasek Brahmantara (top right), and Komang Parianta (bottom right).

3 Disney Crew Members;

Tirso Anthony Neri, age 44, (Disney Dream), Alvin Gonzalez, age 49, (Disney Dream),  Amiel Trazo, age 28, (Disney Dream) were arrested for possession of child pornography on the same Disney ship. U.S. CBP agents found pornographic images of children as young as age 9 on Neri’s cell phones, age 8 on Gonzalez’s phone, and age 6 on Trazo’s device.

Disney Dream (upper left), Alvin Gonzalez (upper right), Tirso Anthonu Neri (lower left), and Amiel Trazo (lower right).

1 Celebrity Crew Member:

Dennis Ofrancia De Leon, age 44, (Celebrity Reflection). Homeland Security agents found “multiple videos/photographs” depicting child sexual abuse material. The criminal court file indicated that the agents found videos “showing boys and girls being raped or otherwise sexually abused . . .”

Dennis Ofrancia De Leon (left), Celebrity Reflection (right)

1 HAL Crew Member:

Jamaal Wade, age 28, (photo below) employed by RWS Global as a dancer / performer on a Holland America Line cruise ship). He was arrested with child sexual abuse materials “involving minors as young as two years old engaged in sexual acts with adults,” and allegedly sexually abused an eleven year-old boy while on a tour for a performance group before he worked on a cruise ship.

So far, three crew members working for Royal Caribbean, three ship employees on the Disney Dream, two crew member working for Carnival, one crew member working for Holland America Line and one crew member working for Celebrity were arrested on child pornography charges.

Where Did This Latest Crew Members Work?

The question arises who employed the last two crew members and on which cruise ship did they work?

Crackdown On Child Pornography By U.S. and Florida Law Enforcement

There appears that there is an effort by both state and federal law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute people who possess and transport child pornography on cruise ships. It is likely that once law enforcement seizes a crew member’s iPhone and/or computer, they obtain evidence such as social media sites and internet transmissions which share child pornography and/or bestiality images implicating a wide number of ship employees.

Are Cruise Employers Doing Anything to Address the Illegal Conduct?

There remains the fundamental issue whether cruise employers are taking any steps to prohibit child pornography on their ships.

According to the Filipino publication Inquirer: “The Migrant Workers Office (MWO) of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC, is working with agencies deploying Filipino seafarers to cruise ships to address the use of child pornography among cruise ship workers. (“At least seven Filipino cruise ship workers have been arrested and detained in Florida for possession and transportation of child pornography within the past six months,” the MWO reported).

“US federal and state laws criminalize the production or promotion of child pornography. Individuals caught possessing, viewing, transporting and distributing child pornography will be prosecuted and penalized.”

The MWO urged the manning (employment) agencies to advise “the seafarers to desist from downloading, possessing, viewing, transporting, distributing and selling child pornography, as well as subscribing to child pornography sites.” But there is no indication that cruise lines are training their ship employees that child pornography is illegal on their cruise ships and there will be consequences if ship employees engage in such conduct.

The question also arises whether child pornography is even illegal in some of the countries where cruise lines recruit their employees such as the Philippines? In 2009, following advocacy by UNICEF and others, child sexual abuse materials were made illegal in the Philippines for the first time. But more needs to be done. “The legal age of sexual consent in the Philippines is still just 12 years old,” according to: UNICEF.

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Image Credit: VAZHAYIL, SREERAG – Miami-Dade-County-Sexual-Predators; MARDIKA, IGEDEBOY – Miami-Dade-County-Sexual-Predators; Carnival Conquest –  NormanEinstein; Celebrity Reflection – Master0Garfield commons/wikimedia; Dennis De Leon; Local 10 News (WPLG); Disney Dream – Ajmexico from Melbourne, USA – CC BY 2.0 commons / wikimedia