Since his time in a Romanian jail, Andrew Tate has sent out cryptic tweets about befriending cockroaches and – most recently – has said that he got into a scuffle with a ghost (of course you did, Andrew). However, last week it was revealed the disgraced personality and former professional kickboxer would have his detention extended by another 30 days while the investigation continues.
Tate, a British-US citizen with 5.2 million Twitter followers, known for his misogynistic views and for building a cult following of, what he calls, “disenfranchised” young men, arrived at the Bucharest Court of Appeal handcuffed to his brother Tristan, who is held in the same case. Two Romanian women in the case are also under house arrest.
The Tates, who were initially detained in Bucharest in late December, will look to overturn a judge’s February 21st decision to extend their detention by 30 days for a third time at the request of prosecutors. If the court rules against them on Monday, they will remain in custody until at least late March.
The brothers are held on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group. It is alleged that the Tates ran a webcam business where a number of the women involved would be coerced into joining them in Romania, a country where they don’t understand the language and where they would become reliant on the brother’s finances – forcing them to remain under their supervision.
The Tates have already lost two previous appeals against 30-day extensions that have kept them behind bars while investigations continued. Although none of the four has yet been formally charged, they still could face the maximum length of detention, which in Romania is 180 days.
Tate previously bragged online about the corruption in the Eastern European region, exclaiming how he could pay off a speeding ticket with a bribe. Appearing on the podcast The Fellas last year, Tate explained his attraction to the region. “I like Eastern Europe as a whole because corruption is far more accessible,” he said. “I find it offensive that a police officer in England will stop me and refuse to take a bribe.” He’s also shown off his multiple passports, ensuring he’d be a flight risk if released on bail.
A document explaining an earlier decision to keep them in jail said the judge took into account the “particular dangerousness of the defendants” and their capacity to identify victims “with an increased 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 Romanian prosecutors have no evidence and alleged their case is a “political” conspiracy designed to silence him.
Romania’s anti-organized crime agency said in a statement after the December arrests that it had identified six victims in the human trafficking case who were subjected to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” and were sexually exploited by members of the alleged crime group.
The agency said victims were lured with pretences of love (lover boy method) and later intimidated, placed under surveillance and subjected to other control tactics while being coerced into engaging in pornographic acts for the financial gain of the crime group.
In January, Romanian authorities descended on a compound near Bucharest linked with the Tate brothers. They towed away a fleet of luxury cars, including a Rolls-Royce, Ferrari and Porsche. They reported seizing assets worth an estimated $3.9 million. Tate also unsuccessfully appealed the asset seizure.
Prosecutors have said that if they can prove the cars’ owners gained money through illicit activities such as human trafficking, the assets would be used to cover the investigation’s expenses and compensate victims. Tate also unsuccessfully appealed the asset seizure.