Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Geoffrey (or is it Godfried?) van Cromvoirt

Rather than an addendum to my previous entry, let's just go with a new one. The New York Post is providing plenty of fodder for consideration and speculation. According to this article in the Post, Natalee's friends have told officials that Natalee spent time with Geoffrey van Cromvoirt earlier during her vacation, as well as on the night of her disappearance.

According to what Holloway's friends have told authorities, the blond-haired, blue-eyed van Cromvoirt was seen with their classmate after she left van der Sloot - the pals say they saw them in the Holiday Inn casino together. But when the casino's video surveillance tapes were turned over to police, investigators could find no sign of Holloway and van Cromvoirt, the source noted.

Van Cromvoirt's father is the security expert in charge of video surveillance at the

Aruban authorities are also scrutinizing a surveillance tape taken earlier on May 30 that shows Holloway arguing with a light-haired young man in a jewelry store in the Wyndham Hotel, according to the source.

They're trying to determine if the man is van Cromvoirt.

A source said police records indicate that "Natalee told her mom and others she was in love with a blond-haired, blue-eyed Dutch kid."

Holloway's mother assumed the youth was van der Sloot, though he has darker hair.
In contradiction, Beth Twitty told Greta van Susteren that she had never heard of the young man identified by Aruban authorities as G.V.C., and that there is no truth to reports that Natalee had become involved with a blond-haired, blue-eyed, Dutch national during her stay on the island.

It might be wise to take the Post's reports with a grain of salt, but more reliable organizations, such as the Associated Press and CBS News, are beginning to confirm some of what was originally published by the tabloid. Chief Prosecutor Karin Janssen's office confirms that G.V.C. was arrested on Saturday and is being held on suspicion "of criminal offenses that may be related to the disappearance of Miss Holloway and of offenses related to dealing in illegal narcotics." The Post, which appears to be getting their scoops from Diario (an Aruban newspaper owned by Jossy Mansur) also reports the possibility of additional arrests.

Van Cromvoirt, who is Dutch, works for his father's private security company, VCB [Video Camara Beveiliging] Security, which patrols the beaches outside Aruba's hotels to protect tourists. He was part of the team keeping an eye on the Holiday Inn where Natalee was staying the night she vanished.

Two more members of that security team are expected to be arrested shortly, the sources said.

Van Cromvoirt was picked up Saturday after police seized a white "VCB Security" T-shirt - possibly belonging to the suspect. Sources said the T-shirt has "forensic evidence" on it - believed to be specks of blood. Authorities in Aruba did not disclose what kind of drugs van Cromvoirt is accused of pushing - and whether Natalee had used them.

If anyone can translate Papiamentu to English, I'd be very interested in knowing exactly what this Diario article says. The online translators I've tried leave a lot to be desired. All I can make out regarding the T-shirt is that it seems to have been found near a kite surfing area. The area known as "Fisherman's Huts," just north of the Marriott resort, is well-known for it's shallow waters and prevailing winds, perfectly suited for kite surfing. As I understand it, this is the same area where Joran claims to have abandoned Natalee.

In an ironic twist, Fox News is reporting that one of Geoffrey van Cromvoirt's "friends" characterizes him as being more capable than Joran van der Sloot of doing harm to Natalee, stating that he has a habit of plying young female tourists with alcohol and drugs in order to take advantage of them. The same sort of things have been said about Joran, even as far back to a time when we knew him only as J.V.D.S.

Rumors have been floated as to whether Geoffrey van Cromvoirt has any connection to the former suspects in the case. Joe Tacopina, attorney for Joran van der Sloot, insists that his client does not know him at all. One report has it that Van Cromvoirt may have a passing acquaintance with Satish Kalpoe. It's also been said that he and Steve Croes are friends. Croes is the party boat DJ arrested last summer for making false statements to police. He came forward to police with the story that he'd witnessed two black security guards escorting Natalee outside the Holiday Inn after she was dropped off by Deepak and Satish Kalpoe and Joran van der Sloot. He claims that he decided (out of the goodness of his heart) to support the young mens' alibi after overhearing Deepak's telephone conversation at the Internet cafe where he worked. The possibility of a relationship between Croes and Van Cromvoirt leads me to wonder whom he was truly trying to protect with that falsehood.

In the course of her On the Record appearance, Beth Twitty brought up another important fact. Several of the surveillance cameras at the Holiday Inn were said to be not in working order when Natalee disappeared. Quite a provocative wrinkle, in light of the allegation that Geoffrey van Cromvoirt's father is in charge of that surveillance system.

Dan Riehl has posted a fascinating interview with an American acquaintance of Geoffrey van Cromvoirt at Riehl World View.