Van Der Sloot Sex Trafficking Investigation

Van Der Sloot Sex Trafficking Investigation

Sex Trafficking Investigation Focuses on van der Sloot
(July 19) -- Joran van der Sloot, the Dutch native charged with killing a Peruvian woman and extorting money from the mother of missing U.S. teen Natalee Holloway, may have even more legal problems ahead.
Earlier this month, the National Enquirer reported on van der Sloot's alleged involvement in sex trafficking in Thailand. Now Peru's minister of justice has confirmed that Thai authorities are pursuing criminal charges against van der Sloot, according to CBS News.
Holloway, an 18-year-old from Alabama, disappeared on a trip to Aruba in 2005. She was last seen leaving a nightclub with van der Sloot, who was then living in Aruba. Following Holloway's disappearance, van der Sloot reportedly traveled to Bangkok, where he posed as a modeling agency consultant, the tabloid reports.

Some of the girls he allegedly approached have disappeared and have never been found, according to the Enquirer.

Though cautioning that it's only supposition until Thai authorities finish their investigation, Harold Copus -- a former FBI agent who was once hired to investigate the Holloway case by the "Dr. Phil" show -- said van der Sloot is believed to have been a middle man.

"In the sex slave industry, the middle man would get a fee for getting the girls and moving them around," said Copus, now head of Copus Security Consultants in Atlanta.

During his own investigation in Aruba, Copus heard rumors that "girls were taken out of Aruba to be used in the sex trade," he said. "There was supposedly a guy from Chicago there, a reputed mobster, who has been quoted as saying that a good [sex slave] is worth a quarter of a million dollars."

Copus told AOL News that while there is a possibility that Holloway, if kidnapped, was sold into slavery, he doubts she would still be alive today.

"Usually they'll dope the girls up so they have no concept of what they are doing," Copus explained, adding that once the women are deemed no longer useful, they often are killed.

"There is another seedy business out there called the snuff trade, where they sell or trade recordings of actual murders," he said. "That's the final exploitation."

The National Enquirer's report is not the first time van der Sloot's name has come up during investigations into the illegal sex trade industry.

In 2008, Dutch journalist Peter de Vries secretly videotaped van der Sloot inside a Bangkok room with two young Thai women and two men who were posing as Dutch sex trade bosses. According to de Vries' expose, van der Sloot told the women they would be working as models in Holland, but in actuality they would be delivered to the Dutch prostitution market and he would make several thousand dollars for each woman he delivered.

"He was in the process of recruiting girls for prostitution ... that is what we saw [in the video]," Copus said. "What we didn't see was what was going to happen if the girls didn't want to be a prostitute. There's a lot of concern here as to what his intentions were."

Not long after the video aired, van der Sloot appeared on the Fox News program "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren." During the interview, he told Van Susteren he had sold Holloway to a mysterious stranger on a boat for $9,600.

"He just handed me a bag, grabbed [Natalee] by the arm and he went to the boat that he had in the water," van der Sloot said.

But like other confessions he allegedly has made, van der Sloot later contacted Van Susteren and said the story was a lie.
If charges are filed against van der Sloot in Thailand, authorities there will have to wait until Peruvian officials wrap up their case against him. The Dutchman is being held there on charges of first-degree murder and robbery in the slaying of 21-year-old Stephany Flores, who was found dead in van der Sloot's Lima hotel room on June 2.

If convicted of Flores' murder, van der Sloot faces 15 to 35 years in prison.

Van der Sloot has also been indicted by U.S. authorities for his alleged involvement in a plot to extort $250,000 from Holloway's family for information on her death and the location of her body.

There has been some concern that a conviction in Peru could mean that van der Sloot won't face charges in the U.S. or Thailand -- in the event charges are also filed there -- because of the statute of limitations. But that won't be an issue, said Steve Cron, a veteran criminal defense attorney in Santa Monica, Calif.

"Assuming he is convicted [in Peru], these other countries are going to make arrangements to have him flown [in] to stand trial, with the understanding that he'll be returned to Peru once the trials are over," Cron told AOL News. "Then, once Peru is done with him, he'll have to go serve out any other remaining sentences in the other countries."

While van der Sloot's freedom continues to remain in question, Cron believes one thing is certain: "This kid's going to be facing a lot of legal battles in the coming years."
http://www.aolnews.com/crime/article/sex-trafficking-investigation-focuses-on-van-der-sloot/19560337


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