Suspect in Holloway Case Allegedly Caught Arranging for Sex Workers

Joran van der Sloot caught on tape allegedly arranging Thai sex trafficking.

ByABC News via logo
November 10, 2008, 11:40 AM

Nov. 10, 2008— -- The prime suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway has been caught on camera apparently arranging to bring Thai sex workers to Europe, according to a Dutch television program.

Joran van der Sloot, the man last seen with Holloway in Aruba the night before she disappeared in 2005, was set up in a Bangkok hotel by Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, who made headlines earlier this year for releasing an undercover video of van der Sloot talking with a friend about taking the American teen's body out to the ocean.

The Dutch television program that aired last night detailed how men working for de Vries allegedly got to know van der Sloot, saying they were interested in bringing Thai women to the Netherlands. In e-mail conversations over several months, van der Sloot allegedly detailed how the women would be told they would get three-month visas to work as models but would actually be working as prostitutes once they got to the Netherlands, according to the Dutch broadcast.

In the grainy undercover video, shot at the Landmark Hotel in Bangkok, van der Sloot, once baby-faced but now heavier with scruffy facial hair, can be seen meeting with de Vries' men as he brings two young Thai women to a meeting in a hotel room. The meeting was recorded by hidden cameras. Later he is also caught on tape allegedly accepting a $1,000 cash advance for his services, the Dutch broadcast claimed.

De Vries later confronted van der Sloot on the phone and told him about the sting, prompting van der Sloot to angrily deny any wrongdoing, but he also thanked DeVries for the $1,000.

Dutch news reports said today that Thai authorities had requested a transcript of the de Vries video. The Dutch media claimed that van der Sloot had left Bangkok and his whereabouts were not known.

Admitting Guilt?

The Dutch reporter won an Emmy for his undercover work earlier this year in which van der Sloot appeared to admit he was present when Holloway died and that he had helped to dump her body in the ocean. De Vries said then that he is "totally convinced Joran is telling the truth" on the tape.

Holloway, 18, was last seen May 30, 2005, while visiting Aruba on her high school's senior class trip. Van der Sloot had been detained twice relating to Holloway's disappearance, but was released both times after law enforcement officials said there wasn't enough evidence to hold him.

Aruban investigators traveled to the Netherlands earlier this year to question van der Sloot after de Vries' explosive tape caused them to reopen the case.

"I am telling you honestly, I know what happened to that girl," van der Sloot told an associate of de Vries', Patrick Van der Eem, on the undercover video. He went on to say that Holloway died in his arms and that he called a friend to dispose of her body.

"Joran is telling the truth about what happened to Natalee," De Vries told "Good Morning America" in an exclusive interview in February, adding that "she died in his arms on the beach that night."