Romania seizes more cars in Tate case; court next week
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Four more luxury vehicles have been seized in the investigation into Andrew Tate, a divisive social media personality who was detained in Romania last week on charges of human trafficking and rape, an official said Friday.
Prosecutors investigating the case seized the additional four vehicles on Thursday on top of 11 others seized in raids last week, Ramona Bolla, a spokesperson for Romanian anti-organized crime agency DIICOT, told The Associated Press.
At least seven of the seized vehicles — some of which local media report are limited editions worth up to $300,000 — are registered to Tate and his brother Tristan Tate who was detained last week in the same case, she said. Some of the other vehicles either aren’t registered or don’t have documentation.
Bolla also said that more than 10 properties or land owned by companies registered to the Tate brothers have been seized in the investigation so far.
“If we prove they gained money through human trafficking,” Bolla said, “they will be taken by the state and (will) cover the expenses of the investigation and damages to the victims.”
Tate, a British citizen and former professional kickboxer who has amassed 4.4 million followers on Twitter, was detained last week along with his brother Tristan in Ilfov, an area north of Romania’s capital, Bucharest. Two other Romanian suspects are also in custody.
DIICOT said in a statement last week that it has identified six victims who were subjected to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” and were sexually exploited by group members.
The agency said two British citizens in the case lured victims using pretenses of love, and later intimidation, constant surveillance, and other control tactics into performing pornographic acts intended to reap “important financial benefits.”
All four suspects are expected to appear in a Bucharest court next week to have their appeals heard contesting a judge’s decision last week to extend their arrest warrants from 24 hours to 30 days, Bolla said.
The Tate brothers will also appear in court next week to appeal the seizure of some of their belongings.
In a statement posted on Andrew Tate’s website — which sells a program called “The War Room” for more than $5,000, intended “for men who understand something is missing” — says his detention is an “unfounded, politically-driven attack.”
Since his arrest last week, a series of posts have appeared on Tate’s Twitter account. One of them, posted Thursday, reads: “Your enemies perpetuate “justice” and “civility” in a society designed to enslave you. You feel sad inside FOR A REASON. You can feel something isn’t right. You must escape the Matrix.”