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MSC Cruises Rehires Child Molester

Submitted by kgnadmin on

The regional court in Hamburg, Germany sentenced a 45-year-old Indian man working as a cabin steward on MSC Cruises. The crew member identified as Caetano D. confessed that in 2015 he had abused a 10-year-old boy on a Baltic cruise aboard MSC Orchestra, reports the German Magazine Bild.

According to the official statement, the incident happened when the boy's parents were watching a show at the Theater. At the time the boy was alone in the stateroom watching TV, when the cabin steward enters the room, supposedly to change towels. He tried to entertain the boy by folding towel animals before pulling the child's pants down. When the boy confronted the steward, he left the cabin saying not to tell his parents anything. However, after his parents return to the stateroom the boy told them what happen and they immediately reported the assault to the ship’s captain. 

Following day the cruise ship arrived in Tallinn, Estonia where the steward was dismissed off the vessel by the captain and send back to India the same day, instead of reporting the incident to the police. 

Two years after the incident, MSC Cruises rehire the same crew member on the same position as a cabin steward. In May 2017 the crew member was arrested in Dubrovnik, Croatia following a European arrest warrant and handed over to the Germany Authorities. After sentencing Caetano D. to 22 months imprison, the judge added: “I find it strange that the cruise company rehires someone who is accused of sexual abuse to a child without waiting for the outcome of the criminal proceedings." 

This scandal opens several questions regarding MSC Cruises Human resources management and their policy regarding reporting incidents aboard their cruise ships to the local authorities.

Why did the captain not handed over the crew member immediately to the police authorities in Estonia, instead of sending him to India? Is this standard procedure? Does the company checks the records before rehiring a crew member?

All cruise lines declare they have zero tolerance policy about sexual assaults, drugs, and violence. If a crew member is engaged in such activities he/she will be sent back home immediately at the next port-of-call.  If the incident is not reported to the local authorities, (which often the case) there is no liability and no negative PR to the Company.