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HUMAN TRAFFICKING

TATE ‘TRAFFICKING’ ARREST: Andrew Tate detained for 30 days by Romanian court

ROMANIAN prosecutors have reportedly been granted permission to detain controversial social media influencer Andrew Tate for 30 days.

The former Big Brother star was arrested late on Thursday with his brother Tristan and two other Romanian suspects after a raid on his house in Bucharest.

Earlier, a police spokesperson told the BBC that the 36-year-old would be held at a “detention centre”.

Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) issued a statement, but did not name the Tates, saying two British citizens and two Romanians were suspected of being part of a criminal group focused on human trafficking.

Prosecutors had applied to a Bucharest court early on Friday for the right to hold the suspects beyond 24 hours and that has now been granted, the Associated Press reported.

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According to the directorate, six injured people have been identified in relation to the investigation, one of whom is said to have been violently sexually assaulted in March.

Some of the suspects allegedly used the “loverboy” method of trafficking, which involves a man luring a victim into a relationship in order to sexually exploit them later, DIICOT said.

The victims were transported and housed in buildings in Ilfov county, which surrounds Bucharest, where they were coerced into making pornographic content, it is alleged.

DIICOT released a video of the raid showing guns, knives and money on display in one room.

Outside the court, the Tates’ lawyer, Eugen Vidineac, said they would appeal against the detention.

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“We are not at a stage where guilt or innocence is proven, for now we only discuss preventive measures,” he added. 

Mr Vidineac told the BBC his clients reject all the allegations.

Andrew Tate, 36, has yet to directly comment directly on the accusations.

After his arrest, a tweet was posted on Tate’s Twitter account suggesting he had been captured by Matrix agents.

It was the latest of a series of Matrix references by Tate, who tells his followers to “take the red pill” and take his advice as a way to get rich.

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The concept of the films has been co-opted by far-right conspiracy theorists and men’s rights groups in recent years.

A former professional kickboxer, Tate appeared on the UK version of Big Brother in 2016 and was removed from the reality show over a video that appeared to show him hitting a woman with a belt.

He later gained attention for his social media presence and the following year was banned from Twitter for saying women should “bear responsibility” for being sexually assaulted. He was reinstated to the platform last month.

On the Anything Goes with James English podcast last year, he said: “I will state right now that I am absolutely sexist and I’m absolutely a misogynist.”

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Tate and his brother have been under investigation since April alongside two Romanian nationals.

Footage circulated widely on social media on Thursday appeared to show Tate and his brother being led away from a luxury villa.

He moved to Romania five years ago.

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