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Controversial Influencer Andrew Tate's Detention On Suspicion Of Human Trafficking Extended An Additional 30 Days
Social media influencer Andrew Tate is set to be held an additional 30 days in custody while investigators explore organized crime and human trafficking allegations made against him and his brother.
Controversial social media influencer Andrew Tate’s detention in Romania on suspicion of organized crime and human trafficking has been extended by another 30 days by a court in Bucharest.
Tate, 36, was initially arrested on Dec. 29 alongside his brother, Tristan, and two Romanian women after authorities descended on his Bucharest property, the Associated Press reported. None of the four has been formally charged as of yet.
The two women will be put under house arrest while the Tate brothers have been ordered held for the third 30-day extension since their arrest, according to Ramona Bolla, spokesperson for Romania’s anti-organized crime agency, DIICOT.
Bolla noted that if prosecutors can prove that Tate earned a profit from human trafficking, the assets could be used to cover the expenses of the investigation and compensate the victims, according to previous Associated Press reporting.
The court cited the “particular dangerousness of the defendants,” who had a history of identifying victims “with an increased vulnerability, in search of better life opportunities,” as basis for the decision to keep them in custody, the AP noted.
The Tate brothers appealed a judge’s Jan. 20 decision to keep them behind bars throughout the investigation, but that was denied on Feb. 1.
Before Tuesday’s ruling, their lawyer, Eugen Vidineac, told journalists that they intended to fight any potential 30-day extensions.
Since the December arrest, Romania’s anti-organized crime agency has identified six alleged victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation by members of Tate’s group.
Romanian prosecutors have accused the Tates of seducing victims under the false pretenses of a relationship, coercing them into producing and posting pornographic content.
Tate gained a large following on social media by boasting about this content and marketing himself as a self-declared misogynist.
A history of posts containing hate speech have resulted in the influencer's ban from several social media platforms.
Tate continues to voice his opinion his case through Twitter, on which he has more than 5 million followers. On Monday, one day before the decision of his 30-day extension, Tate tweeted “My enemies lie about me in a desperate bid to slander my name.”
The testimony of the six women accusing the Tate brothers of sex crimes will likely play an integral role in the investigation, though Tate recently threatened legal action against a woman that accused him of rape and human trafficking, according to the New York Post.
Both Tate brothers are represented by a United States law firm that allegedly sent a cease-and-desist letter to the woman’s lawyer in December, threatening to pursue a $300 million lawsuit if the accusations were not rescinded.
“[It] was intended to shut down the witness; stop the witness from bringing testimony forward in any proceedings” noted Benjamin Bull, the lawyer of the letter's recipient.
The Tate brothers and their lawyers deny the letter was sent as a means of intimidation.