Cruises probe: porn videos found, boat seized

PHUKET: Tourist police have uncovered more evidence they believe links Lifestyle in Asia Co and its managing director, William Anthony Ranauro, to an alleged sex cruise operation promoted on a website, www.loveboatcruises.net. The website has been inaccessible since Saturday, 20 April. Pol Maj Supamit Sukjaroen, Inspector of the Phuket Tourist Police, told the Gazette that investigators conducted a second search of the company’s premises at the Boat Lagoon marina on Saturday. “We found 19 video tapes of people having sex on a boat, six artificial penises, four bottles of lubricants, two bottles of lotion, 19 packs of condoms and one vibrator. All of these items were hidden in a leather bag placed under the stairs.” The company’s secretary, Pusanit Suntoratad, was arrested for participating in publishing obscene material. She was later released on bail of 30,000 baht. Anupharp Thirarath, Director of the TAT Phuket office, told the Gazette that police have linked Mr Ranauro to the loveboatcruises web pages after finding the WHOIS record for the domain name on the Verisign/Network Solutions website. The record lists “Bill Ranauro” as the administrative contact for loveboatcruises.net, and a Hong Kong company, Perfecta Co Ltd, as the address. Perfecta is the name of one of the two boats used by the company for its legitimate cruises. The luxury boat has now been seized after Marine Police found what they say is evidence of falsification of the registration documents. It will be put up for auction. Pol Maj Prasert Srikhunnar of the Phuket Marine Police said, “We checked the company’s boat registration documents and found that ‘Perfecta’ was registered illegally as a Thai boat, [apparently] to avoid paying import tax.” Marine Police questioned K. Pusanit of Lifestyle in Asia, who said that the company bought the boat from Division Shiplife Service Sail Co at the Boat Lagoon in 1999. Laor Sangnil, managing director of Division Shiplife Service, was then questioned by police. “K. Laor denied that his company had sold the boat to Lifestyle in Asia. He said it had only done repairs on it,” said Maj Prasert. He added, “We believe Lifestyle in Asia falsified the receipt for repairs on the boat to show the Harbor Master that the boat had been built in Thailand in 1999.” The police have now applied for an arrest warrant for Mr Ranauro and for a warrant to search his home at the Boat Lagoon. They have been unable to locate Mr Ranauro, but believe that he and his wife are still in Phuket. Potential charges faced by Mr Ranauro include falsifying documents, for which the maximum penalty is five years in prison; and publishing pornographic material, which carries a maximum penalty of a 6,000-baht fine, three years in prison, or both.

Phuket News

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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