- A mysterious foreign passport found inside a safe in Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan mansion had been used to travel to at least four countries in the 1980s, prosecutors said on Wednesday in court documents seen by Business Insider.
- They said the expired Austrian passport was found in the locked safe along with more than $70,000 in cash and several loose diamonds.
- They said that the passport appeared to have a photo of Epstein but a different name and listed a residence in Saudi Arabia.
- Epstein’s lawyers said in court papers on Tuesday that the passport was for “personal protection” and that prosecutors had offered no evidence that Epstein ever used it.
- But on Wednesday, prosecutors said stamps in the passport suggested it was used to enter France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia in the 1980s.
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A mysterious foreign passport found in Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan mansion had been used to travel to multiple countries in the 1980s, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.
It was found in a locked safe along with $70,000 in cash and 48 loose diamonds, prosecutors said.
They said the expired passport from Austria appeared to have a photo of Epstein but a different name and listed a residence in Saudi Arabia.
“The passport contains numerous ingress and egress stamps, including stamps that reflect use of the passport to enter France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia in the 1980s,” they said in the court documents seen by Business Insider.
Epstein, a billionaire financier and sex offender, was charged earlier this month with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. He has pleaded not guilty and faces up to 45 years in prison.
Epstein’s lawyers on Tuesday said in court papers filed in conjunction with his bail request that the passport from Austria “expired 32 years ago” and was for “personal protection” against “kidnappers, hijackers or terrorists” who might have wanted to target Epstein because of his Jewish faith.
“The government offers nothing to suggest – and certainly no evidence – that Epstein ever used it,” his lawyers argued.
But prosecutors said on Wednesday that Epstein’s lawyers had not yet addressed how Epstein obtained the foreign passport or whether he is a citizen or resident of other countries.
“The defendant’s submission does not address how the defendant obtained the foreign passport and, more concerning, the defendant has still not disclosed to the Court whether he is a citizen or legal permanent resident of a country other than the United States.”
Prosecutors said the discovery of the passport suggested Epstein posed a flight risk and should remain in jail, NBC News reported.
They added that the cash and the loose diamonds found in the safe supported the notion that Epstein was prepared “to leave the jurisdiction at a moment’s notice,” according to NBC News.
Epstein is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. His legal team has asked the court to allow him to surrender his current passport and live under house arrest, Reuters reported.