NEW YORK — The FBI raided Jeffrey Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean Monday, US media reported, two days after it opened an investigation into the apparent suicide of the financier, who was accused of sex trafficking.
Epstein, a convicted pedophile who befriended numerous politicians and celebrities over the years, was found dead in his cell Saturday while awaiting trial on federal charges he trafficked underage girls for sex.
The FBI is investigating how Epstein was able to take his own life in a high-security facility just weeks after an earlier reported suicide attempt meant he should have been under close watch.
NBC News reported that federal agents searched Epstein’s luxury home on Little St. James in the US Virgin Islands on Monday morning, using golf carts to get around.
Two senior law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation confirmed the searches, NBC said.
The Daily Mail also reported the raids on its website.
An FBI spokesperson wasn’t immediately available for comment when contacted by AFP.
The raids came as US Attorney General Bill Barr said there had been “serious irregularities” at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan where Epstein, 66, died.
“We will get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability,” said Barr, who has also ordered the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate the circumstances.
Epstein had been charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors. He faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
Epstein’s death came a day after a court released documents in which one of his alleged victims said she was forced to have sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew and some well-known American political and business personalities.
They have all strenuously denied the allegations.
Barr pledged to pursue any co-conspirators in the sex trafficking case.