Andrew Tate and brother Tristan appear in court in Romania to appeal against the detention

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BUCHAREST, Romania – Controversial internet personality Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan appeared in a Romanian court on Tuesday to appeal their detention on charges of human trafficking and coercing women to participate in online pornography.

Tate – a former kickboxing champion and self-proclaimed misogynist – exited a police van handcuffed to his brother Tristan as they arrived at a Bucharest court on Tuesday to appeal a judge’s decision giving them up to 30 days hold while prosecutors try to send her in for testing. Tate appeared to be holding a Koran as his brother waved to reporters outside.

The brothers and two Romanian employees were arrested last month. In addition to human trafficking, the suspects were accused of forming an organized criminal group. One has also been charged with rape, although authorities have refused to identify this individual, citing local law.

Andrew Tate, brother charged with human trafficking in Romania

The Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) said in a Dec. 29 statement that they identified six people who were recruited in Ilfov County, which includes the capital Bucharest, and then sexually abused.

Authorities said the victims were coerced into participating in pornography for distribution on social media and that one of the suspects raped a victim twice in March. The statement, which did not identify the suspects, said the victims were subjected to “acts of physical violence and psychological coercion.”

The Tates were legal in the country, DIICOT spokeswoman Ramona Bolla said in an interview December 30, noting that investigations began in April after the US embassy called Romanian authorities with information that a US citizen was involuntarily Ilfov was being held in a house.

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Police said the four suspects organized a group in early 2021 that conspired to commit human trafficking, not only in Romania but also in the United States and Britain. A conviction for human trafficking in Romania carries a sentence of between three and ten years. In the case of rape, the sentence can range from five to ten years.

The police had previously reported a search of two properties in April in the Ilfov district, in which they said they had seized assets related to the case. The Tates’ arrest came after police executed five home search warrants, police said. The alleged American victim is no longer in the country, said Bolla. The other five alleged victims were Romanians and Moldovans.

Sorcher reported from London, Morris from Erkelenz, Germany. Timothy Bella and Kelsey Ables contributed to this report.

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