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Thursday, June 10, 2010
When Things Go Terribly Wrong - The FBI Edition.
The funds were part of an FBI sting aimed at an alleged extortion plot by van der Sloot, and many media outlets have slammed the bureau for reputedly botching that sting. "FBI cash funded Sloot 'slay' trip: Blunder let Natalee creep slip free after 25G payoff meant for mom-extort bust," reads a New York Post headline today.
The FBI launched its sting several weeks ago, after van der Sloot allegedly offered to provide the mother of missing teen Natalee Holloway with information about her daughter's disappearance in exchange for $250,000.
On May 10, an intermediary reportedly acting under the FBI's direction met with van der Sloot at a hotel in Aruba and allegedly gave him $10,000 in cash. An additional $15,000 was wired to van der Sloot via a financial institution in the Netherlands, U.S. authorities say.
Roughly three days later, van der Sloot traveled to Peru to play in a poker tournament. It was there, on June 2, that Stephany Flores, 21, was found dead in van der Sloot's hotel room in Lima, setting off a police manhunt that ended with his arrest in Chile on June 3.
The FBI issued a statement today offering "heartfelt sympathy to the Flores family," but also refuting critics' charges that it could have prevented Flores' death.
"The Birmingham investigation was not related in any way to the murder in Peru ... [and] was not sufficiently developed to bring charges prior to the time van der Sloot left Aruba," the FBI stated. "This is not due to any fault on the part of the FBI or the U.S. Attorney's Office, where agents and prosecutors were working as hard as possible to bring the case to fruition when they learned of the murder."
While the FBI is not responsible for the death, it does make me sick to think that we (all of us) helped him in any way.