The controversial British influencer Andrew Tate appeared in a court in Bucharest on Friday for aggravated pimping, a few days after a very lively and extensive exchange of comments between this former kickboxer and the environmentalist Greta Thunberg on Twitter.
• Also read: Influencer Andrew Tate arrested on sex trafficking charges
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Andrew and his brother Tristan Tate were taken into police custody “for 24 hours”, a spokeswoman for DIICOT’s anti-mafia prosecution, Ramona Bolla, told AFP.
The court, whose hearing began at 14.00 (12.00 GMT), must decide on a possible 30-day remand.
Andrew Tate had a heated exchange this week, which went viral, with Greta Thunberg on social media, in which he congratulated himself on emitting a lot of greenhouse gases with his collection of large cars.
Upon news of her arrest, the Swedish activist tweeted ironically on Friday morning: “this is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza wrappers”.
The post, which has now been “liked” 1.6 million times, has helped fuel speculation that Tate has been “located” by Romanian authorities thanks to the pizza wrapper visible in a video response he had sent her Wednesday.
However, Romanian prosecutors denied this. “It doesn’t add up,” Mrs Bolla responded.
“To determine whether a person is in the country or not, we use a wide range of means,” she added, specifying that “arrest warrants and searches” were already ready.
For her part, a spokesperson for Greta Thunberg confirmed to AFP that her tweet was “a joke” and that “the Romanian authorities had not contacted her”.
Recent return to Twitter
The prosecution has been investigating since early 2021 and had already searched a villa of Andrew Tate last April.
According to a statement, the British influencer and his brother are suspected of “organized gang crime”, “rape” and “human trafficking” in Romania, the UK and the US.
Six potential victims have been identified at this stage. Duped by the two men who feigned feelings for them and then sequestered them, they were allegedly forced by violence into prostitution and the production of pornographic films.
The Prosecutor’s Office published images of the searches, where we can see firearms, piles of cash and sports cars seized in various places in Romania.
According to the Romanian press, two women, including an American citizen, had been freed by the police from the Tate brothers’ property in the spring.
Both men moved to Romania a few years ago.
Andrew Tate, who also holds US citizenship, had appeared on the TV show Older brother in 2016. He was eliminated from the competition after a video surfaced showing him hitting a woman.
He then turned to social networks where he promoted masculinist theses. His accounts had all been suspended for misogynistic comments.
In particular, he believed that female victims of sexual abuse should be held accountable.
However, in the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, his Dubai-based account had been reactivated on the social network. He is followed by 3.6 million people.
On his website, he presents himself with a shaved head and a well-trimmed beard wearing aviator glasses.
Smoking big cigars and bulging muscles, he claims to be a multi-millionaire and gives his advice to men to help them get rich.