Romanian authorities said they seized nearly $4 million in assets belonging to controversial internet personality Andrew Tate over the past week as he and his brother were investigated over allegations of human trafficking and rape.
About 18 million lei, equivalent to $3,942,700, were seized, the National Agency for Recovery and Asset Management (ANABI) said. said Saturday in a press release.
Among the 29 items seized are motor vehicles, luxury watches and sums of money in several different currencies, ANABI said.
The seizures were made on the orders of prosecutors from the Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigations Directorate, according to ANABI.
Video released by Reuters on Saturday shows Romanian authorities at a compound displaying a large “Tate” sign seizing several high-value vehicles, including a Rolls Royce, BMW and Mercedes Benz.
Andrew and his brother Tristan Tate were arrested in Romania in December as prosecutors pursued charges of human trafficking and rape. Romanian authorities said police had issued search warrants at five homes and taken four suspects into custody – two British and two Romanians – as part of the investigation.
The Romanian Directorate for Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigations (DIICOT) said the four suspects were detained for an initial 24-hour period. A Bucharest court has accepted a request by DIICOT to keep Tate and her brother Tristan in custody for another 30 days, their lawyer Eugen Vidineac said on December 30.
DIICOT alleged that the four suspects formed an organized criminal group that stretched from Romania to Britain and the United States, with the aim of committing the crime of human trafficking.
The agency said Thursday that seven more properties were searched as part of the investigation, bringing the total number of properties surveyed to 12.
Authorities allege that two of the suspects misled the victims “into believing that they intended to enter into a marriage/cohabitation relationship” while transporting the victims to Romania and subsequently sexually exploiting them with physical violence and coercion.
Authorities also said one of the suspects raped a victim twice in March 2022. At least six victims were allegedly “sexually exploited by the organized crime group,” according to the DIICOT statement.
Tate, a former professional kickboxer, is known for his viral online rants about male dominance, female submission and wealth. He openly advocates violence against women and had previously been banned from all major social media platforms until Elon Musk reinstated his Twitter account after taking over the business.
He rose to prominence earlier this year, with many adults, including teachers, worrying about his misogynistic ideas taking root in the minds of countless young boys. Prior to its deletion, his TikTok account had racked up around 11.6 billion views.
He made headlines the week of his arrest for a Twitter interaction with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who told Tate to have a life after he tweeted about his many cars “and their respective huge emissions “.
There was speculation online that authorities were alerted to Tate’s presence in Romania by the appearance of a peculiar pizza box in one of the photos he posted during his spat with Thunberg.
But, according to Reuters, a DIICOT spokesman said the pizza boxes played no role in the detentions.