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. 11, 2008— -- Joran van der Sloot, who for a long time was the prime suspect in the disappearance of American Natalee Holloway, has reportedly been caught on camera allegedly arranging to bring Thai sex workers to Europe, according to a Dutch television program that conducted the hidden camera sting.

Van der Sloot, the man last seen with Holloway in Aruba the night before she disappeared in 2005, was unknowingly set up in a Bangkok hotel, according to Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries.

De Vries made headlines earlier this year for releasing another undercover video of van der Sloot apparently talking with a friend in a car about taking the American teen's body out to the ocean.

"In my opinion, Joran is responsible and needs to stand trial for it," de Vries told "Good Morning America" today referring to Holloway's disappearance.

The Dutch television program that aired Monday night detailed how men hired by de Vries reportedly befriended van der Sloot, by saying they were interested in bringing Thai women to the Netherlands.

In e-mail conversations during several months, van der Sloot reportedly detailed how the women would be told they would get three-month visas to work as models but would actually work as prostitutes once they got to the Netherlands, according to the Dutch broadcast.

"There is no doubt at all that he was trying to sell young Thai girls to sex clubs," de Vries said. "The point is, he is of a criminal mind-set in my opinion."

According to de Vries, who said he has daily contact with Holloway's mother, Beth, she was "excited but also shocked" by van der Sloot's actions.

"She hopes the Thai government will take action in the proper time," he said.

The grainy undercover video, shot at the Landmark Hotel in Bangkok, seems to show van der Sloot, once baby-faced but now heavier with scruffy facial hair, meeting with de Vries' men as he brings two young Thai women to a meeting in a hotel room.

The apparent meeting was recorded by hidden cameras. Later he is also reportedly shown on the tape accepting a $1,000 cash advance for his services, the Dutch broadcast claimed.

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

"We heard that before in Natalee's case," de Vries said. "We heard it all before."

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

De Vries said he expects the Thai government to take van der Sloot into custody and then "maybe he'll stand trial."

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 that tape.

Holloway, 18, was last seen May 30, 2005, while visiting Aruba on her Alabama 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 de Vries' associate Patrick van der Eem, on the earlier 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."

On the tape, van der Sloot told van der Eem that Holloway suffered a seizure during a romantic encounter between the pair, who had met hours before at a local nightclub.

At another point he told van der Eem, "I tried to shake her. I was shaking the b--. I was like, 'What is wrong with you, man?' I almost wanted to cry."