VOLUNTARI, Romania, Jan. 14 (Reuters) – Romanian authorities on Saturday began taking luxury cars from a property close to the capital as part of a criminal investigation into alleged human trafficking that led to the arrest of divisive internet personality Andrew Tate.
Romanian anti-organized crime prosecutors arrested Tate, his brother Tristan and two Romanian female suspects on Dec. 29 on charges of forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit six women. They have denied wrongdoing.
A Reuters reporter saw several cars, including a Rolls-Royce, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, being taken from the Tate complex on the outskirts of the capital Bucharest for transport to a storage facility.
Earlier this week, prosecutors told Reuters they seized 15 luxury vehicles and more than 10 properties and homes belonging to the suspects in Bucharest and Prahova and Brasov provinces to prevent the assets from being sold or hidden.
Tate’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment.
The four suspects challenged their 30-day arrest warrants earlier this week, but Bucharest’s appeals court rejected the challenge, saying they should remain in police custody.
A former contestant on the British reality show Big Brother, Tate rose to prominence for misogynistic comments and hate speech.
His comments got him banned from all major social media platforms, though his Twitter account became active again in November after Elon Musk took over the platform.
Tate, who is an American and British national, has said that women are partly responsible for rape and that they belong to men.
(This story has been corrected to clarify that cars were first taken from a property near the capital, not from all locations, in the first paragraph)
Reporting by Octav Ganea Writing by Anna Koper Editing by Helen Popper
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