A Romanian court has upheld a third 30-day detention for the divisive influencer and former professional kickboxer Andrew Tate, who is being held on suspicion of organised crime and human trafficking, an official has said.
Tate lost his appeal on Monday against a judge’s decision on February 21 to extend his arrest a third time for 30 days, said Ramona Bolla, a spokesman for Romania’s anti-organised crime agency DIICOT.
Tate, 36, a British-US citizen known for his misogynistic views and who has 5.2 million Twitter followers, arrived at the Bucharest court of appeal handcuffed to his brother Tristan, who is being held in the same case.
Bolla said prosecutors also won an appeal on Monday against a court’s decision last week to place two women held in the case under house arrest, instead of in full detention.
None of the four has yet been formally charged.
All four will now remain in jail until at least March 29, Bolla said.
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.
DIICOT 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 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 and towed away a fleet of luxury cars that included a Rolls-Royce, a Ferrari and a Porsche.
They reported seizing assets worth an estimated £3.24 million.
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 expenses of the investigation and to compensate victims.
Tate also unsuccessfully appealed against the asset seizure.