Authorities investigating Andrew Tate seize luxury cars worth millions of dollars

By Stephen McGrath and Vadim Ghirda

Bucharest: Romanian authorities have descended on a compound near Bucharest to tow away a fleet of luxury cars and other assets worth an estimated $US3.9 million ($5.6 million) in the case investigating Andrew Tate, the divisive social media personality who is detained in the country on charges of human trafficking.

Romania’s National Agency for the Administration of Unavailable Assets said in a statement that it removed 15 luxury cars, 14 designer watches and cash in several currencies. The total value of the goods, the agency said, is estimated at €3.6 million ($5.2 million).

A police officer looks on as a luxury vehicle which was seized in a case against media influencer Andrew Tate, is towed away, on the outskirts of Bucharest.
A police officer looks on as a luxury vehicle which was seized in a case against media influencer Andrew Tate, is towed away, on the outskirts of Bucharest.Credit:AP

About a half-dozen masked law enforcement officers and other officials descended on the compound Saturday to take away the goods. The fleet of automobiles included a blue Rolls-Royce, a Ferrari, a Porsche, a BMW, an Aston Martin and a Mercedes-Benz.

Tate, 36, a British-US citizen who has 4.5 million followers on Twitter, was arrested on December 29 in Bucharest along with his brother Tristan and two Romanian women on charges of being part of an organised crime group, human trafficking and rape.

On Tuesday, all four lost an appeal after a court upheld a judge’s December 30 move to extend their arrest from 24 hours to 30 days. A day later, Tate lost another appeal that challenged assets seized by prosecutors in the case so far.

In the days before his arrest Tate had taunted environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg, saying he owned 33 with “enormous emissions” in a post of him refuelling a $7 million Bugatti.

Prosecutors seized several luxury vehicles after Tate lost a second appeal this week at a Bucharest court.
Prosecutors seized several luxury vehicles after Tate lost a second appeal this week at a Bucharest court.Credit:AP

Romania’s anti-organised crime agency, DIICOT, said it had seized 15 luxury vehicles in the case, and identified more than 10 properties and land owned by companies registered to the Tate brothers.

If prosecutors can prove they gained money through illicit activities including human trafficking, the assets could be used to cover the expenses of the investigation and compensation for victims, said Ramona Bolla, a DIICOT spokesperson.

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Andrew Tate with one of his luxury cars in a picture he posted on Twitter.
Andrew Tate with one of his luxury cars in a picture he posted on Twitter.Credit:Twitter

DIICOT said it has identified six victims in the human trafficking case who were subjected to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” and were sexually exploited by the members of the alleged crime group.

The agency said victims were lured by pretences of love, and later intimidated, kept under surveillance and subjected to other control tactics while being coerced into performing in pornography.

Tate, a former professional kickboxer who has reportedly lived in Romania since 2017, was previously banned from various prominent social media platforms for expressing misogynistic views and hate speech.

After the assets were moved Saturday, a post appeared on Tate’s Twitter account, which read: “Anyone who believes I’m a human trafficker is genuinely a moron,” and that “anyone smart enough to understand the American system is unfair would be mind blown by the injustice of the Romanian system.”

AP

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