A court in Bucharest has ruled that Andrew Tate must remain in preventive custody until at least 27 February while an organised crime investigation continues into the former kickboxer, influencer and professed misogynist.
The court on Friday agreed to a request by the country’s organised crime agency, Diicot, to extend Tate’s detention, along with that of his brother Tristan and two Romanian female suspects, one a former police officer.
“At the demand of the prosecutors, the court has accepted the extension of the pre-trial detention of the two Tate brothers until 27 February,” a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office, Ramona Bolla, told local media. They can appeal the decision.
The four suspects were arrested by police on 29 December on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group to exploit women and remanded in custody for 30 days. Both men have denied wrongdoing.
An appeals court last week rejected their demand for release after prosecutors argued that given their “financial capacity”, the brothers could “evade investigation, leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition”.
Besides guns, knives and large sums of cash, investigators have so far seized 10 properties belonging to the Tates in Romania, as well as 15 luxury cars – three Porsches, two BMWs, two Ferraris, an Aston Martin, a McLaren, a Lamborghini and five Mercedes – and 14 luxury watches.
Authorities said that in total they had confiscated goods and money worth 18m lei (£3.2m). Tate’s lawyer, Eugen Vidineac, who has previously said there was “no evidence” against his client and Tate was merely “playing a character” on social media, was not immediately available for comment.
Tate, 36, a dual US-British citizen, was thrown off the reality show Big Brother in 2016 and became notorious for his misogynistic remarks and hate speech. He has said women are partially responsible for being raped and that they “belong” to men.
He has claimed to be a multimillionaire and to have taught “the deserving the secrets to modern wealth creation” via the now defunct “Hustler’s University”, an online coaching service that claimed to have more than 160,000 paying customers.
After amassing millions of followers on social media, prompting fears that his videos were radicalising young men, he was eventually banned from all major platforms, but reinstated on Twitter – where his account has 4.7 million followers – last November after Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company.
Prosecutors launched their investigation last March after one of the brothers allegedly raped a trafficked woman. Tate and his brother, 34, are accused of recruiting their victims by seducing them and falsely claiming to want a romantic relationship.
The victims were then allegedly taken to properties outside Bucharest where they were forced “through physical violence, mental intimidation and coercion” to produce pornographic content for social media sites, generating large profits.
More than a dozen mobile phones and computer equipment “intended for videochat activities” had been recovered from several properties searched by investigators, prosecutors said in an update on the case last week.
The prosecution has so far identified six victims, including minors. The two Romanian women, Georgiana Naghel and the former police officer Alexandra Luana, are suspected of having acted as the brothers’ accomplices.