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'not running' Romanian cop who moved to Ireland after being accused of pimping minors says he is innocent

Romanian ex-cop accused of pressuring 15-year-old girls into prostitution says he has left Ireland to fight in Ukraine

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Mihai Gabriel Latis (42) was a gendarme in Suceava in northern Romania but resigned in 2019 after he was arrested for trafficking in minors and pimping them out for sex.

Mihai Gabriel Latis (42) was a gendarme in Suceava in northern Romania but resigned in 2019 after he was arrested for trafficking in minors and pimping them out for sex.

Mihai Gabriel Latis (42) was a gendarme in Suceava in northern Romania but resigned in 2019 after he was arrested for trafficking in minors and pimping them out for sex.

A ROMANIAN cop who moved to Ireland after he was accused of pimping out underage girls for sex in his home country claims he is innocent of all the charges and is "not running away" from authorities.

Mihai Gabriel Latis (42) was a gendarme in Suceava in northern Romania but resigned in 2019 after he was arrested for trafficking in minors and accused of pimping them out for sex.

The investigation by the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) began in 2019 but was only recently completed, by which stage Latis had moved to Ireland to work in construction.

In an interview with the Sunday World this week, he claimed he has now left Ireland to fight against the Russians in Ukraine and will return to Romania when his case goes to trial to prove his innocence.

Authorities allege that Latis and his then girlfriend, who was 20 years younger than him, recruited a 15-year-old girl to have sex with men for money and took half of her earnings.

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Mihai Gabriel Latis (42) was a gendarme in Suceava in northern Romania but resigned in 2019 after he was arrested for trafficking in minors and pimping them out for sex.

Mihai Gabriel Latis (42) was a gendarme in Suceava in northern Romania but resigned in 2019 after he was arrested for trafficking in minors and pimping them out for sex.

Mihai Gabriel Latis (42) was a gendarme in Suceava in northern Romania but resigned in 2019 after he was arrested for trafficking in minors and pimping them out for sex.

It is alleged they had pimped her out for more than half a year between 2016 and 2017.

Authorities claim that they then recruited another vulnerable 15-year-old girl in January 2017 and pressured her into prostitution while taking half the profits.

Latis claimed to investigators that the teenagers were friends of his girlfriend and met with "various generous men" but he did not take any money from them or arrange meetings.

Latis confirmed to the Sunday World that he recently moved to Ireland where he worked in construction but decided to leave as his English wasn't very good and he had no documents.

"I worked a little [in Ireland] and decided to enlist in Zelensky's army as a volunteer, given that my whole career up to this age was strictly military," he said.

He claimed he was innocent of all charges against him - describing them as "fake" - and said the charges were motivated by someone he worked with "with whom I had an argument".

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Mihai Gabriel Latis (42) was a gendarme in Suceava in northern Romania but resigned in 2019 after he was arrested for trafficking in minors and pimping them out for sex.

Mihai Gabriel Latis (42) was a gendarme in Suceava in northern Romania but resigned in 2019 after he was arrested for trafficking in minors and pimping them out for sex.

Mihai Gabriel Latis (42) was a gendarme in Suceava in northern Romania but resigned in 2019 after he was arrested for trafficking in minors and pimping them out for sex.

Latis resigned following his arrest but has now launched an appeal against his resignation which he described to the Sunday World as "fabricated".

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He added that he was not on the run from authorities.

"I'm not 'running away'. The Romanian authorities know where I am at all times as I have no restrictions on leaving the country. I will come back if I am summoned and I will fight and I will show that I am not guilty.

"I declared to the law enforcement institutions in Romania that given my strictly military career I will go to enlist voluntarily on the Ukrainian side."

He said he travelled to Ukraine earlier this month.

"I will show that I am innocent in the end," he said.

Latis was 39 when he was arrested in relation to the alleged trafficking in 2019 with his girlfriend Adelina Boiciuc, who was 19 at the time.

The pair married last October after Latis divorced his first wife, and they have had a child together.

While Latis told the Sunday World that he travelled to Ukraine earlier this month, Romanian media reported this week that he told them he was currently working in construction in Ireland to support his family and was avoiding problems.

Romanian media also reported that supporters of Latis told them that the minors at the centre of the investigation had contacts with other policemen and gendarmes.

While Latis is facing criminal prosecution in Romanian courts he has been allowed to appeal against his resignation. He resigned after the head of the gendarmerie in Suceava came to see him while he was in custody over the trafficking allegations.

While he signed a resignation letter that night, he said he wanted to withdraw his resignation the following day and had signed the initial letter while in a bad mental state.

In December the courts allowed for the appeal to proceed.

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