Suspect in Natalee Holloway disappearance to be extradited to U.S.

A Dutch man who was suspected in the 2005 disappearance of 18-year-old American Natalee Holloway is being extradited from Peru to the U.S. in connection with a fraud case, Peru officials said Wednesday.

Joran van der Sloot is serving a 28-year prison sentence in Peru for the 2010 killing of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman.

He was arrested but never convicted in the disappearance of Holloway, who vanished in Aruba in 2005.

The case in the U.S. involves fraud and extortion related to Holloway’s mother, Elizabeth Holloway, who goes by Beth, Peru’s government said in a statement about the approval of van der Sloot’s transfer to the U.S.

In a statement Wednesday, Beth Holloway again blamed van der Sloot for her daughter’s death.

“It has been a very long and painful journey, but the persistence of many is going to pay off. Together, we are finally getting justice for Natalee,” she said.

Van der Sloot was criminally charged in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2010 with two federal counts that deal with extortion and wire fraud, according to court records.

A criminal complaint filed in 2010 alleges that van der Sloot caused thousands of dollars to be sent to the Netherlands on a promise that the location of Natalee Holloway’s remains and details of her death would be revealed.

Federal prosecutors said in 2010 that van der Sloot caused Beth Holloway to wire $25,000 in all — $15,000 to his account in the Netherlands and $10,000 more to a lawyer in New York who was to take that money to van der Sloot in Aruba in person.

He identified to the lawyer a site in Aruba where he said Holloway’s remains were buried, but it was a lie, federal prosecutors said.

The charges in that case were interference with commerce by threat or violence and wire fraud, according to court records.

The plot involved an attempt to have a total of $250,000 transferred, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit in that U.S. fraud case. 

Attorney Maximo Altez, who represents van der Sloot, told The Associated Press that he will fight the decision once he is properly notified by the Peruvian government.

“I am going to challenge that resolution,” Altez said. “I am going to oppose it, since he has the right to a defense.”

Holloway, who is from Alabama, has never been found. She went on a high school graduation trip to Aruba and never returned. A judge later declared her dead.

Van der Sloot was arrested and released in that case and was never charged.

The Associated Press contributed.