A Romanian court confirmed on Monday the third 30-day arrest of influencer and former professional kickboxer Andrew Tatedetained on suspicion of organized crime and human trafficking, an official said.
Tate lost his appeal against a judge’s decision on February 21 to extend his detention for a third time for 30 days, according to Ramona Bolla, a spokeswoman for the Romanian anti-organized crime agency DIICOT.
Tate, 36, British-American citizen known for his misogynistic views and with 5.2 million followers on Twitter, he arrived at the Bucharest Court of Appeal handcuffed to his brother Tristan, arrested for the same case.
Bolla reported that prosecutors also won an appeal on Monday against a court decision last week to place two women arrested in the case under house arrest, rather than full detention. None of the four have been formally charged.
Is he third appeal that the brothers lose against decisions to extend their detention while investigations continue. The four will remain in prison at least until March 29, according to Bolla.
A document explaining an earlier decision to keep them in prison said that the judge took into account the “special dangerousness of the defendants” and its ability to identify victims “with greater vulnerability, in search of better life opportunities.”
Tate, who has lived in Romania since 2017, was previously banned from various social media platforms for expressing misogynistic views and hate speech. He has repeatedly claimed that Romanian prosecutors have no evidence and claimed that his case is a “political” conspiracy designed to silence him.
After the court handed down its ruling on Monday, a message appeared on Andrew Tate’s Twitter account reading: “They make up lies to keep me here. But they can’t hide the sun forever”.
The DIICOT said in a statement after the December arrests that had identified six victims in the human trafficking case who were allegedly subjected to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” and sexually exploited by members of the alleged criminal group.
According to the agency, victims were lured under love pretenses and subsequently intimidated, subjected to surveillance and other control tacticswhile forced to participate in pornographic acts for the economic benefit of the criminal group.
In January, Romanian authorities raided a compound near Bucharest linked to the Tate brothers and took a fleet of luxury cars which included a Rolls-Royce, a Ferrari and a Porsche. Assets with an estimated value of $3.9 million were seized.
Prosecutors have said that if they can prove the owners of the cars made money through illegal activities such as human trafficking, the assets would be used to cover the costs of the investigation and compensate the victims. Tate also unsuccessfully appealed against asset forfeiture.
Former world kickboxing champion Andrew Tate was a cast member on UK’s Big Brother, leaving the show in 2016 after being accused of sexual assault.
Tate has millions of followers on the internet, where he posted videos in which he claimed aggressive and misogynistic masculinity associated with economic success.
(With information from AP and EFE)
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