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'Extreme flight risk' Maxwell wrapped her phone in tinfoil to avoid capture, judge told


Couple: Ghislaine Maxwell with the late Jeffrey Epstein

Couple: Ghislaine Maxwell with the late Jeffrey Epstein

Couple: Ghislaine Maxwell with the late Jeffrey Epstein

Ghislaine Maxwell is "extremely skilled at living in hiding" and could "flee abroad and live comfortably for the rest of her life" if granted bail by the courts, US authorities have warned.

Ahead of a bail hearing today, prosecutors revealed that FBI officers discovered Ms Maxwell had wrapped her mobile phone in tin foil in a "seemingly misguided effort to evade detection" and had hired former British soldiers to guard her hideout in New Hampshire.

In the documents opposing Ms Maxwell's application for bail, submitted yesterday to a Manhattan judge, the prosecutors argued that the British heiress was an "extreme flight risk" and would attempt to leave the US if allowed out of prison.

They revealed she has had access to $20m (€17m), including $2m in banks in the UK, and was transferring money between Swiss bank accounts as recently as last year.

They submitted that Ms Maxwell (58), who is facing 35 years in prison on charges that she recruited teenage girls for disgraced late financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse in the 1990s, had tried to escape during her arrest and was found hiding in a room.

A British private security guard working for Ms Maxwell is said to have informed the FBI that she had not left the property during his time working there and that he was sent out to make purchases using a credit card.

"There should be no question that the defendant is skilled at living in hiding," the prosecutors wrote in a submission to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Investigators also allege that Ms Maxwell has refused to declare her financial situation and they have been unable to determine whether she has had a job in more than 30 years.

They rejected Ms Maxwell's $5m bail proposal, claiming that offering a $3.75m home in London as collateral was meaningless as it could not be seized by US authorities.

They also argued that the co-signatories - believed to be her twin sisters and other close relatives - have not been formally identified to them and it was not clear if they were living in the US.

They also expressed concern that she may escape to France, where she holds citizenship. Paris does not extradite its own citizens.

In their request for bail, submitted last Friday, Ms Maxwell's lawyers claimed their client could be trusted and had never "run from the law".

At least one of the alleged victims named in the indictment against Ms Maxwell is planning to tell today's hearing that Epstein's alleged "partner in crime" should be denied bail. (© Daily Telegraph London)