Romanian authorities have altered the human trafficking charge against Andrew Tate.
Prosecutors have disclosed that a social media influencer is currently under investigation for a more grave offense, namely the crime of "human trafficking in a continuous manner."
Romanian prosecutors have modified the human trafficking charge against social media influencer Andrew Tate, upgrading it to a more serious offense. Tate, along with his brother Tristan and two other individuals, is now under investigation for "human trafficking in continued form," a charge considered more severe than the initial separate trafficking counts. The investigation also involves two Romanian women, Georgiana Naghel and Luana Radu. All four suspects are currently under house arrest as they face allegations of human trafficking, rape, and participation in a criminal organization aimed at the sexual exploitation of women, charges they have denied.
Although charges have been filed against the suspects under Romanian law, the case is still in the investigative phase and has not yet reached trial. It is expected that the prosecutors will proceed with their decision to bring the suspects to trial later in June.
Andrew Tate, a 36-year-old British-US citizen with a significant following of 6.8 million on Twitter, along with the three other suspects, had been in police custody from December 29, 2022, until March 31 of the following year, when a Bucharest court granted them house arrest.
The prosecution unit of Romania's directorate for investigating organized crime and terrorism (DIICOT) informed the Tate brothers on Tuesday about the alteration of the charge from human trafficking to trafficking in continued form, according to a spokesperson from DIICOT. In Romanian law, trafficking of adults carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Furthermore, an additional victim has been included in the case, expanding the original count of six women, as confirmed by the DIICOT spokesperson.
The legal team representing the Tate brothers stated that the modifications made serve the best interests of the suspects, ensuring an impartial investigation. "The legal framework has been revised and altered to ensure an impartial investigation is upheld," they remarked.
DIICOT has also initiated a separate criminal investigation against a Romanian individual closely associated with the Tate brothers. The allegations involve human trafficking and the formation of a criminal group for the sexual exploitation of seven women.
According to prosecutors, Vlad Obuzic, who is seen in social media pictures with the Tate brothers, along with two other suspects, allegedly lured their victims by seducing them and deceitfully claiming to seek a relationship or marriage.
The victims were then allegedly coerced into creating explicit content for social media platforms, with the suspects primarily benefiting from the profits. Prosecutors stated, "To ensure the victims' loyalty and their commitment solely to the group's members exploiting them, they were compelled to tattoo the name or face of the exploiting group member."
In a recent BBC interview, Andrew Tate refuted the allegations of rape and exploitation leveled against him. He also denied that his beliefs regarding women were harmful and contended that it was "completely disingenuous" to suggest that he was causing harm to young people.
He expressed, "I genuinely consider myself a positive force in the world. You may not comprehend that at present, but eventually, you will. I truly believe that I am following God's instructions to do good and improve the world."
As a former kickboxer and reality TV personality, Tate had his Instagram and Facebook accounts banned from Meta platforms in 2022 due to violations of company policies related to "dangerous organizations and individuals."