Internet personality Andrew Tate is facing a challenge in a Romanian court against his 30-day arrest for alleged human trafficking and formation of an organized crime group. Tate, his brother Tristan, and two Romanian female suspects have denied any wrongdoing and have challenged the arrest warrant.
According to prosecutors, the Tate brothers recruited victims by seducing them and falsely claiming to want a relationship, and then took them to properties on the outskirts of the capital city of Bucharest. There, the victims were allegedly sexually exploited through physical violence and mental intimidation, being forced to produce pornographic content for social media sites which generated large financial gains.
One of the brothers is also accused of raping one of the victims in March of last year, which is when the investigation into the case began. The suspects have been detained by Romanian anti-organized crime prosecutors pending a criminal investigation.
In addition to the arrests, prosecutors have seized 15 luxury vehicles and over 10 properties and homes belonging to the suspects in Bucharest and the counties of Prahova and Brasov. The seizure was reportedly meant to prevent the assets from being sold or concealed.
Andrew Tate is a self-described “success coach” who has gained notoriety for his hate speech and misogynistic remarks. He has been banned from major social media platforms, although his account was reinstated on Twitter in November after Elon Musk took over the platform. Tate is a former professional kickboxer who holds both US and British nationality.
If the court upholds the arrest warrant and the investigation needs more time, prosecutors can seek approval for further extensions of up to 180 days of detention under Romanian law. It is important to note that these allegations have not been proven in court and that all individuals are innocent until proven guilty.
Tate recently interacted with climate activist Greta Thunberg on Twitter. He tweeted an image of himself with a car and asked Thunberg to provide her email address so he could send her a list of his car collection and their respective emissions. Thunberg quipped back and provided a fake email address.
Tate gained mainstream attention this year after clips from his appearances on podcasts and Twitch streams went viral. He has made extreme and controversial statements, including comparing women to property and blaming women for sexual assault and harassment. As a result of his actions and statements, he has been banned from Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube for violating the platforms’ community guidelines. His Twitter account was also permanently suspended in 2017, but he returned to the platform in November after Elon Musk took over the platform. Many people praised Thunberg for her response to Tate’s tweet. On Wednesday afternoon, Tate responded to Thunberg with a video message on Twitter.
Many people believe that this arrest might be related to his recent confrontation with climate activist Greta Thunberg on social media, and the fear that Tate could have a negative influence on the youth, with his dangerous and controversial ideas.