Prince Andrew touches down in Australia

 

PRINCE Andrew has touched down in Australia on official business amid reports more details about his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein could come to light during a probe by law enforcement agencies.

The Duke of York arrived in Western Australia on Monday evening after an Emirates flight from Dubai where he will attend a Pitch@Palace event for Australian entrepreneurs.

The Australian start ups will take part in a boot camp before an event at Murdoch University with the winners chosen to attend a global Pitch@Palace event in London in December.

Pitch@Palace is the Duke of York's brainchild, designed to "amplify and accelerate the work of entrepreneurs" around the Commonwealth.

It comes following reports Prince Andrew could become more engulfed in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal as police in the US seek to talk to victims of the late American billionaire paedophile.

The Sunday Times reported the FBI has expanded its investigation to identify alleged human trafficking victims of Epstein, who could provide information on the Duke.

The newspaper said the US law enforcement agency expects to interview alleged trafficking victims over the next two months, and that Scotland Yard is ready to help.

Citing unidentified sources from the US Department of Justice, the paper says the FBI are looking to "several" potential victims in the hope they can provide more details about Prince Andrew and his involvement in the Epstein case.

The report quotes former head of royal protection at Scotland Yard, Dai Davies, saying a full investigation would be in Prince Andrew's best interests.

"I would have thought it's in Prince Andrew's interests to clear this matter up," Mr Davies, who headed Prince Andrew's protection in the late 1990s, told The Sunday Times.

"Any residue of doubt or innuendo should be cleared up by a clear, unequivocal, structured investigation."

Pictures of Prince Andrew with the late Epstein made front page news in 2011. Picture: New York Post.
Pictures of Prince Andrew with the late Epstein made front page news in 2011. Picture: New York Post.

 

Scotland Yard had previously held an investigation after one of the women caught up in the scandal, Virginia Giuffre, made allegations against Prince Andrew, but that probe was dropped in 2015.

Her allegations, which Andrew strongly denies, were struck from US civil court records in 2015 after a judge said they were "immaterial and impertinent".

The Sunday Times reports the claims by Giuffre that she was ordered to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 are not the only allegations against the royal being reviewed by the FBI.

Prince Andrew has denied all allegations against him as "false" and "without foundation".

The paper said around 100 sex-trafficking victims are expected to form part of the FBI's investigation into Epstein, most of whom were aged between 14 and 15.

The Epstein probe is continuing after the disgraced financier took his own life last month in a New York prison cell where he was detained on charges of sex trafficking teenage girls.

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