Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and close friend of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested in the United States on Thursday on charges of helping to lure underage girls who were then sexually abused by Epstein.
Maxwell, who lived for years with Epstein, was taken into custody around 8:30am in the state of New Hampshire, said FBI spokesman Marty Feely.
Epstein killed himself in a federal detention centre in New York last summer while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell, 58, has been accused by many women of recruiting them to give Epstein massages, during which they were pressured into sex. Those accusations, until now, never resulted in criminal charges.
Indictment: “[Ghislaine] Maxwell assisted, facilitated and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse victims… “The victims were as young as 14.” pic.twitter.com/upk7Ez0Q4f
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) July 2, 2020
The charges levelled against her on Thursday include two counts of perjury, or lying to investigators, conspiracy, enticing a minor to travel to engage in illicit sex acts, and transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
Federal prosecutors said in court papers she had “enticed and caused minor victims to travel to Epstein’s residence in different states” and that Maxwell would assist in their “grooming for and subjection to sexual abuse”.
Prosecutors said Maxwell was well aware of Epstein’s preference for minor girls, and that he intended to sexually abuse them.
SDNY just announced the Ghislaine Maxwell case – like the original Epstein case – is staffed by the Public Corruption Unit. I worked at SDNY and did sex trafficking cases. They do NOT run out of Public Corruption – unless there is some potential angle against a public official.
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) July 2, 2020
At a news conference on Thursday afternoon, prosecutors said they had been keeping tabs on her for some time.
“Recently we learned she had slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims live with the trauma inflicted upon them years ago,” said William Sweeney, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York office.
The indictment said Maxwell repeatedly lied when questioned about her conduct.
“Maxwell lied because the truth, as alleged, was almost unspeakable,” said Audrey Strauss, the acting US attorney in Manhattan.
She added that the Epstein probe remains “ongoing”.
Maxwell has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and called some of the claims against her “absolute rubbish”.
American financier Jeffrey Epstein commits suicide in prison (2:34)
Maxwell is the daughter of late British media magnate Robert Maxwell, who founded a publishing house and owned tabloids including the Daily Mirror. It emerged after Robert Maxwell’s mysterious death in 1991 that he had looted hundreds of millions of dollars from employee pension funds to prop up his crumbling business empire.
In the early 1990s, she moved to New York, where she worked selling real estate. Around that time she became romantically involved with Epstein, who described her in a 2003 Vanity Fair article as his “best friend”.
Maxwell largely disappeared from public view in 2016 and was particularly elusive after Epstein was charged with sex trafficking. The Washington Post reported in August that Maxwell had been living in a secluded oceanfront mansion in Massachusetts owned by a technology entrepreneur, Scott Borgerson, who declined to comment when asked about her location.
Prince Andrew urged to come in and give statement just hours after Ghislaine Maxwell’s arresthttps://t.co/F696P3vqmz pic.twitter.com/e1rpV94I1O
— The Scottish Sun (@ScottishSun) July 2, 2020
Women who accused Epstein of sexual assault and their lawyers welcomed Thursday’s news.
“Day after day, I have waited for the news that Maxwell would be arrested and held accountable for her actions,” said Jennifer Araoz, who has accused Maxwell of helping traffic her for Epstein. “Her arrest is a step in that direction, and it truly means that the justice system didn’t forget about us.”
“The pain she has caused will never go away but today is a step toward healing,” lawyer Sigrid McCawley, who represents several women, said of the arrest. “I am so proud of the women we have represented over the last six years who never gave up fighting for justice.”
Children killed in attack on Cameroonian school
Assailants storm private school in city of Kumba, Southwest Region, killing at least four students.Attackers have opened fire on a private school in Cameroon’s Southwest Region, killing at least four children, according to officials. The unknown assailants stormed the Mother Francisca School in the city of Kumba on Saturday. There was no immediate claim of…
Assailants storm private school in city of Kumba, Southwest Region, killing at least four students.Attackers have opened fire on a private school in Cameroon’s Southwest Region, killing at least four children, according to officials.
The unknown assailants stormed the Mother Francisca School in the city of Kumba on Saturday. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
“They attacked around noon. They found the children in a class and they opened fire on them,” Kumba sub-prefect Ali Anougou told the Reuters news agency.
At least nine other students were wounded and sent to the hospital. There were fears the death toll could rise.
The Associated Press news agency quoted Anougou as blaming separatists who have been fighting the military in parts of western Cameroon for the attack.
Cameroon’s two Anglophone regions – the Northwest and Southwest Regions – are home to a large minority of English speakers in a country where French speakers are the overwhelming majority – a situation that is the legacy of the decolonisation of western Africa by France and Britain more than 60 years ago.
In late 2016, long-standing complaints of political and economic discrimination against English speakers by the central government spilled over when lawyers, students and teachers began calling for reforms.
The government’s lethal response to the protests provoked rebels to declare in 2017 independence for a region they call “Ambazonia”, triggering a stronger crackdown by the authorities.
Both sides have since been accused of committing atrocities in a conflict that has killed some 3,000 people and forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.
Anglophone secessionists have imposed curfews and closed schools as part of their protest against President Paul Biya’s government.
Last year, officials blamed separatists for kidnapping dozens of schoolchildren, charges the separatists denied.
Vietnamese envoy hails KRCS’ global humanitarian efforts
KRCS Chairman Dr Hilal Al-Sayer meets Vietnamese Ambassador to Kuwait Trinh Minh Manh. – KUNAKUWAIT: Vietnamese Ambassador to Kuwait Trinh Minh Manh hailed the humanitarian efforts of Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) around the world. The remarks were made to KUNA yesterday after the ambassador’s meeting with KRCS Chairman Dr Hilal Al-Sayer. He expressed appreciation…
KRCS Chairman Dr Hilal Al-Sayer meets Vietnamese Ambassador to Kuwait Trinh Minh Manh. – KUNAKUWAIT: Vietnamese Ambassador to Kuwait Trinh Minh Manh hailed the humanitarian efforts of Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) around the world. The remarks were made to KUNA yesterday after the ambassador’s meeting with KRCS Chairman Dr Hilal Al-Sayer. He expressed appreciation for the society’s aid to the Vietnamese Embassy during the coronavirus crisis.
The ambassador added that they discussed providing his country with aid to face the impact of the recent floods and landslides, considered to be the worst in decades. Sayer said he was pleased with the ambassador’s visit and affirmed that KRCS will continue exerting humanitarian efforts to aid those affected by natural disasters and crises everywhere. – KUNA
Pain, frustration: Expats lose jobs to new rules and COVID
File photos show foreign workers applying to leave Kuwait during the amnesty. – Photos by Yasser Al-ZayyatBy Chidi Emmanuel After working for 24 years in Kuwait, Charley Lyon received the dreaded letter that many expats fear amid the economic downturn, coronavirus pandemic and new residency laws. Lyon is among thousands of expat workers in the…
File photos show foreign workers applying to leave Kuwait during the amnesty. – Photos by Yasser Al-ZayyatBy Chidi Emmanuel
After working for 24 years in Kuwait, Charley Lyon received the dreaded letter that many expats fear amid the economic downturn, coronavirus pandemic and new residency laws. Lyon is among thousands of expat workers in the government sector who were being laid off.
As part of its Kuwaitization policy, Kuwait is replacing expats with locals in the government sector. The government has also stopped issuing work permits to expats over 60 years of age without a university degree. These new rules have had a huge impact on the lives of thousands of expats in the country, leaving many with no choice but to pack their bags and leave.
Gulf countries are facing an exodus of foreign workers as the coronavirus pandemic pushes out foreign workers. In the midst of the COVID-19 and financial crunch, the National Assembly approved a draft law to slash expat numbers over the next five years.
As the budget deficit widens and economic conditions worsen, Kuwait is grappling with an economic downturn as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc around the world. The combined shock of collapsing oil prices, the pandemic and joblessness is reshaping labor policies in the region, thus bringing anti-foreigner sentiments to the fore again.
While Kuwait’s expats struggle to secure their jobs, the government is calling for an increase in workforce nationalization in government entities. “Why will foreigners take the jobs meant for us (Kuwaitis)? They can work anywhere – but not in the ministries,” argued Abdullah, a 26-year-old Kuwaiti.
Buttressing Abdullah’s viewpoint, Fatma, an unemployed Kuwaiti woman, complained of the difficulty in competing with foreign workers for jobs in the private sector. “Foreign workers can work longer for less, unlike us Kuwaitis. So most companies prefer to hire non-Kuwaitis. This leaves us with only one sector (the public sector). I think this is why the government introduced Kuwaitization, so as to give unemployed Kuwaitis an opportunity,” she explained.
For Lyon, justice and fairness should override anti-expat sentiments. “It is understandable that ministries would give preference to locals for jobs during these tough times, but it would be fair to consider the efforts of the old staff who have put in their best to build this country,” Lyon, 61, and some of his co-workers who were laid off recently lamented, as they worry about their future.
Expats make up the majority of the population of Kuwait. Residency is tied to employment and Kuwait does not easily offer citizenship routes to non-nationals. “We have been here (in Kuwait) legally for over 20 years. It will be difficult to go back and start afresh in our home countries. More so, Kuwait’s residency is linked to the work permit – when you lose your job, you automatically lose your residency. I worry about my children who are still in school. The three-month notice will not be enough to relocate them,” Mustapha, an Egyptian expat who recently lost his job, said in dismay.
Abdurazak Hamad, an African expat, is in a dilemma. “I feel miserable leaving my family behind. I don’t want to go alone, but I can’t make my wife quit her KD 450 job since she is now the sole breadwinner. Starting afresh in my home country at this age (62) will be very difficult. I wish I can get a permit (residency) to stay here with my family,” said Hamad, who was recently sacked.