London police were alerted to allegations Jeffrey Epstein was trafficking minors to the United Kingdom for sex, but they declined to conduct a “full investigation” and “the matter was closed”.
Peter Saunders, of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said papers originally lodged in the United States led him to believe “there almost certainly were probably British victims [of trafficking] here” and that he forwarded the relevant documentation to New Scotland Yard, according to an investigation by Channel 4 News.
Lawyers for Virginia Giuffre, née Roberts, also contacted the British authorities over claims she was “forced to have sexual relations with a member of the British Royal Family, Prince Andrew” in 2001 when she was aged seventeen.
Photographs show Prince Andrew, the Queen’s third child who became popular for fighting on the frontlines of the Falklands War in the 1980s, with his arm around Giuffre’s waist at a property in London around the time of the alleged impropriety, with Epstein’s alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell visible in the background.
Separately, the Mail on Sunday has published film from 2010 which they say shows the British royal at Epstein’s multi-million Manhattan mansion, waving goodbye to a young woman.
“[We] can confirm that the Metropolitan Police Service [MPS] received an allegation of non-recent trafficking for sexual exploitation,” a spokesman for the London police force told Channel 4 News.
“The MPS reviewed the available evidence and the decision was made that this would not progress to a full investigation. As such, the matter was closed,” they added — although the exact nature of the “available evidence” referred to was not made clear, according to the broadcaster.
Buckingham Palace, for its part, has strenuously denied any wrongdoing on Prince Andrew’s part, or that he was aware of any allegations against Epstein within the relevant timeframe.
“This [matter] relates to proceedings in the United States, to which The Duke of York is not a party. Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue,” a spokesman said.
“It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”