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Romanian Prosecutors Change Human Trafficking Charge Against Andrew Tate

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BUCHAREST(Reuters) – Romanian prosecutors said on Tuesday that social media influencer Andrew Tate, his brother Tristan and two other suspects were being investigated for human trafficking in continued form, saying it was a more serious crime than separate counts of trafficking.

The Tate brothers and two Romanian female suspects are under house arrest pending a criminal investigation for suspected human trafficking, rape and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women, accusations they have denied.

Under Romanian legislation, prosecutors have filed charges against the four suspects, but the case is under investigation and has not yet gone to trial. Prosecutors are expected to commit them for trial later in June.

Romanian Prosecutors Change Human Trafficking Charge Against Andrew Tate

The four were held in police custody from Dec. 29 until March 31, when a Bucharest court placed them under house arrest.

On Tuesday, Romania’s DIICOT anti-organised crime prosecuting unit notified the Tate brothers that the human trafficking charge had changed to trafficking in continued form, a DIICOT spokesperson said. Under Romanian law, trafficking of adults carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

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One more victim was added to the case, which started out with six women, the spokesperson said.

The Tate brothers’ legal team said Tuesday’s changes were in the suspects’ “legal interest”.

“The legal framework has been revised and altered to ensure an impartial investigation is upheld,” they said in a statement.

Also on Tuesday, DIICOT prosecutors said they had opened a separate criminal investigation against a Romanian man close to the Tate brothers on allegations of human trafficking and forming a criminal crime group to sexually exploit seven women.

Prosecutors have said Vlad Obuzic, whose social media platforms show pictures of him with the Tate brothers, and two other suspects recruited their alleged victims by seducing them and falsely claiming to want a relationship or marriage.

The victims were then coerced to produce pornographic content for social media sites, with the suspects keeping most of the gains.

“To ensure the victims’ loyalty and that they will perform only to the benefit of the members of the group, they were forced to tattoo the name or face of the group member exploiting them,” prosecutors said in a statement.

(Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Ed Osmond)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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Nathan
Nathan

Nathan is an experienced journalist. He's covered a broad spectrum of topics, including politics, culture, and human interest stories, always aiming to engage and inform his audience. Nathan has a degree in Journalism and upholds the highest standards of integrity and accuracy in his work.

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