The Guardian: LONDON, England, By Maanvi Singh – The Department of Homeland Security confirmed on Monday that agents have raided properties in Los Angeles, Miami and New York that local news outlets have reported are tied to rapper and mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs.

NBC News and local stations in Los Angeles and Miami first reported the activity at Combs’s properties on Monday. Federal Homeland Security Investigations agents and other law enforcement were conducting searches of the properties as part of a sex trafficking investigation by federal authorities in New York, two law enforcement officials told the Associated Press.

It’s not clear whether Combs was the target of the investigation. The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss details of the investigation and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The exact reason for the raids remained unclear. “Earlier today, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York executed law enforcement actions as part of an ongoing investigation, with assistance from HSI Los Angeles, HSI Miami, and our local law enforcement partners,” Homeland Security Investigations said in response to the Guardian’s questions about the reported raids. The department did not specify the target of the investigation.

© Provided by The UBJ

The musician is facing multiple civil lawsuits over alleged sexual assault and sex trafficking. Last year, he settled a lawsuit from his former girlfriend, R&B singer Cassie, who accused him of physically and sexually abusing her for years. Another of Combs’ accusers alleges that Combs, along with two other men, raped her two decades ago, when she was 17. Producer Rodney Jones has also accused Combs of sexually assaulting him and forcing him to hire sex workers and perform sexual acts with them.

Combs has denied the allegations. In response to allegations that he raped a 17-year-old, Combs’s attorneys have filed documents calling for the lawsuit to be dismissed and stating that he “never participated in, witnessed, or was or is presently aware of any misconduct, sexual or otherwise, relating to plaintiff in any circumstance whatsoever”.

NBC reported that federal officials in Manhattan have interviewed people and are scheduled to interview sources in relation to allegations of sex trafficking, sexual assault and the solicitation and distribution of illegal narcotics and firearms, citing anonymous sources. A spokesperson for the US attorney’s office in Manhattan declined to comment.

A lawyer for Combs did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Guardian.

Our US morning briefing breaks down the key stories of the day, telling you what’s happening and why it matters

Video from KABC, a local television news station, showed armed officers entering a property in the Holmby Hills area of LA, which KABC said was connected to Combs’s company Bad Boy Entertainment.

Combs is among the most influential hip-hop producers and executives of the past three decades. Formerly known as Puff Daddy, he built one of hip-hop’s biggest empires, blazing a trail with several entities attached to his famous name. He is the founder of Bad Boy Records and a three-time Grammy winner who has worked with a slew of top-tier artists including Notorious BIG, Mary J Blige, Usher, Lil Kim, Faith Evans and 112.