FBI agents search Epstein’s private Caribbean island

US federal agents have been searching Jeffrey Epstein’s island home in the US Virgin Islands.

It comes after the death of the 66-year-old, who is thought to have killed himself on Saturday ahead of a trial on charges that he sexually abused underage girls.

Pictures on Monday showed agents including from the FBI and Customs and Border Protection, at the dock and in the grounds of Little Saint James.

The 100-acre private Caribbean island was bought by Epstein for $7.95m (£6.6m) in 1998 and it was part of the extravagant lifestyle enjoyed by Epstein before his legal troubles.

Despite rumours, not much is known for sure about what went on at the island, although details may soon be revealed by the agencies seen searching it on Monday.

Epstein’s estate also includes a 40-room mansion on New York’s Upper East Side with an estimated value of $77m (£63m), a ranch in New Mexico and homes in Paris and Palm Beach, Florida.

FBI spokesman Guillermo Gonzalez said: “There are FBI agents conducting enforcement operations in the US Virgin Islands,” but he declined to comment further.

Financier Epstein had a social circle that included princes and presidents, including names such as Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.

But he admitted prostitution charges relating to an underage girl in 2008.

He was arrested on 6 July over claims that he was involved in the sex-trafficking of dozens of girls as young as 14 from at least 2002 until 2005.

He had denied the charges and was being held in prison until his trial.

Had he been convicted of the most recent offences, he was facing up to 45 years in jail.

A number of well-known names had been implicated in the case and prosecutors had said Epstein’s behaviour was aided by co-conspirators who recruited his victims.

Attorney General William Barr warned that investigations will continue into the actions of “anyone who was complicit with Epstein”.

During a speech on Monday, he described the case as “very important to the Department of Justice and to me personally”.

“Most importantly, this case was important to the victims who had the courage to come forward and deserved the opportunity to confront the accused in the courtroom.”

He added that he had been “appalled…and frankly angry” to learn that Epstein had died due to what he described as the Metropolitan Correctional Center’s “failure to adequately secure” him.

He continued: “We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation. The FBI and the Office of Inspector General are doing just that.

“We will get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability.”

Epstein is thought to have attempted suicide last month but was no longer on suicide watch when he died during the weekend.

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