A luxury yacht has turned up in New Zealand that is linked to Jeffrey Epstein confidant Ghislaine Maxwell, who is believed to be hiding from authorities and victims of the late billionaire accused of sex abuse and trafficking of teen girls, the Sun reports.
The yacht was recently seen in Auckland after it sailed from Australia, but crew members would not say who is aboard the boat or how long it has been in New Zealand, according to the report.
Maxwell, 58, receded from public life in 2016 as allegations mounted against Epstein.
She was thought to be hiding in France, where she was born, and had been living at least for a time in an apartment in Paris’ ritzy 8th Arrondissement, according to the Sun.
The 190-foot vessel was owned previously by Maxwell’s father, British newspaper publisher Robert Maxwell, who had named the boat “Lady Ghislaine” after his daughter.
The yacht is now named “Touille” and is reportedly registered with a company in Vallauris, France. The Sun reports that it sailed from Sydney to Dunedin, New Zealand, in January.
A New Zealand website, stuff.co.nz, reports that crew has declined to answer questions about who might be aboard.
The boat was originally built in 1986 for Emad Khashoggi, cousin to Jamal Khashoggi, the slain journalist, before being purchased by Robert Maxwell.
Robert Maxwell was reportedly found dead floating near the yacht in 1991 by the Canary Islands; it was not clear whether the death was a result of natural causes, or was accidental or intentional, but it was later revealed that he had grafted money from his company’s pension fund.
The boat was sold to an American buyer in 1992 and renamed “Lady Mona K.”
According to the Sun, Ghislaine Maxwell’s Paris apartment is owned by a Normandy millionaire friend who has allowed her to live in it. The unit is just a 5-minute drive to Epstein’s palatial apartment, which authorities raided in September.
The last confirmed sighting of Maxwell was in March on Avenue Matignon in Paris before France went into lockdown because of COVID-19.
The Sun is offering a reward of £10,000, or more than $12,000, for information that results in the news organization making contact with Maxwell.
The FBI and Epstein’s victims are seeking to question Maxwell about her relationship with Epstein and her involvement in the alleged abuse. Investigators believe she helped procure girls for Epstein and was intimately involved in his operations.
[Feature image: Ghislaine Maxwell in 1991/AP Photo,Dominique Mollard, File and Jeffrey Epstein/New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File]