Romanian authorities said they have seized nearly $4 million worth of assets belonging to controversial internet personality Andrew Tate over the past week as he and his brother are investigated over allegations of human trafficking and rape.
Approximately 18 million lei, equivalent to $3,942,700, have been seized, the country’s Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ANABI) said in a press release on Saturday.
Among the 29 seized assets are motor vehicles, luxury watches and sums of money in several different currencies, ANABI said.
The seizures were carried out by order of prosecutors from the Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigation Directorate, according to ANABI.
Video released by Reuters on Saturday shows Romanian authorities at a compound adorned with a large “Tate” sign seizing several high-value vehicles, including a Rolls Royce, a BMW and a Mercedes Benz.
Andrew and his brother Tristan Tate were arrested in Romania in December as prosecutors pursued allegations of human trafficking and rape. Romanian authorities said police executed search warrants at five homes and arrested four suspects – two British and two Romanian – as part of the investigation.
Romania’s Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigation Directorate (DIICOT) said the four suspects had been arrested within the first 24 hours. A court in Bucharest accepted a request by DIICOT to keep Tate and his brother Tristan in prison for another 30 days, their lawyer Eugen Vidineac said on December 30.
DIICOT alleged that the four suspects formed an organized crime group that stretched from Romania to Great Britain and the United States, with the purpose of committing the crime of human trafficking.
The agency said Thursday that seven more properties had been searched as part of the investigation, bringing the total number of properties under investigation to 12.
Authorities allege two of the suspects tricked the victims “into believing they intended to establish a marital/cohabitation relationship” while transporting victims to Romania and then sexually exploiting them with physical violence and coercion.
Authorities also said one of the suspects raped a victim on two separate occasions in March 2022. At least six victims were allegedly “sexually exploited by the organized criminal group,” the DIICOT statement said.
Tate, a former professional kickboxer, is known for his viral online rants about male dominance, female submission and wealth. She openly advocates violence against women and was previously banned from all major social media platforms until Elon Musk reinstated her Twitter account after taking over the company.
It rose to prominence earlier this year, with many adults, including school teachers, expressing alarm at its misogynistic ideas being ingrained in the minds of countless young boys. Before it was taken down, his TikTok account accumulated about 11.6 billion views.
He made headlines this week for his arrest over a Twitter interaction with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who told Tate to get a life after tweeting 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 particular pizza box in one of the photos she posted in her spat with Thunberg.
But according to Reuters, a DIICOT spokesman said the pizza boxes played no role in the arrests.