Thai police arrest Australian accused of selling sex cruises

BANGKOK — Thai police said Tuesday that they have arrested an Australian man for allegedly promoting sex cruises with prostitutes on a Facebook page.

Police said Stephen Allan Carpenter, 49, was arrested Monday night in the central province of Saraburi. He was brought to the seaside resort town of Pattaya, where he operated his business and where an arrest warrant had been issued.

Carpenter has been charged with procuring women for prostitution, posting pornographic material online, overstaying his visa, and working illegally as a tour guide.

Carpenter's business, AUSTHAI Tours, advertised online a six-hour cruise with women at a cost of between 38,000 baht ($1,187) and 50,000 baht ($1,562), Police Lt. Col. Dullayapat Techapornyasin of the Transnational Crime Coordination Center said.

Police said an officer contacted Carpenter and posed as a customer. He then wired half the money as a deposit into a bank account, as instructed by the suspect. After the money went through, the police obtained an arrest warrant.

Pattaya is known for its sex industry, catering largely to foreigners.

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