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Tuesday, 26 March 2024 14:13

Searches at P Diddy homes related to an ongoing sex trafficking investigation.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Search warrant activity at homes belonging to musician and producer Sean "Diddy" Combs on Monday is related to an ongoing sex trafficking investigation, a law enforcement source told CNN.

The source would not specify whether Combs himself was the specific target, citing the sensitive nature of the investigation.

The investigation is being led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents in New York, where a lawsuit was filed against Combs by a former girlfriend last year, accusing him of sex trafficking.

In a statement issued to the Reuters news agency, HSI did not elaborate on the nature of its investigation. However, it has jurisdiction to investigate the illegal movement of people, goods, money, technology and contraband, including sex trafficking.

R&B vocalist Cassandra Ventura sued Combs in federal court in Manhattan in November, accusing him of subjecting her to physical abuse, sexual slavery and rape during a 10-year professional and romantic relationship.

The suit cited violations of sex trafficking and human trafficking statutes under federal, New York state and California laws.

Ventura and Combs – who has used such monikers as P Diddy, Puff Daddy and Diddy – announced the next day they had settled the case under confidential terms.

Combs, 54, has said that he is innocent and his accusers were seeking "a quick payday".

Ventura's court action opened the door to other lawsuits, raising allegations of sexual assault and rape against Combs from other plaintiffs.

In December, Combs denied the latest civil complaint, which accused him of taking part in the gang rape of a teenager whom he arranged to fly from Detroit to New York 20 years ago.

Television stations in Los Angeles carried aerial video footage showing HSI agents and other law enforcement authorities raiding Combs's estate in the city's upscale Holmby Hills neighbourhood.

Los Angeles City News Service reported several people were detained outside the home, but it was unclear whether any arrests were made.

Local news outlets reported that federal authorities also executed a search warrant at the rap mogul's Miami-area home.

Footage showed officers going in and out of his property on Miami Beach's Star Island with agents carrying a box of material from the home. Combs's whereabouts during the raids were not known.

With inputs from various news agencies.