Romanian prosecutors search devices in Andrew Tate case

BUCHAREST – Romanian prosecutors conducted forensic searches of mobile phones and laptops on Wednesday as they search for more evidence in the case of social media personality Andrew Tate, who is being jailed in the country on suspicion of organized crime and human trafficking, an official said.

Tate, 36, a dual British-American citizen who has nearly 5 million followers on Twitter, was originally arrested in late December along with his brother Tristan and two Romanian women in Romania’s capital, Bucharest.

Both Tates appeared in handcuffs on Wednesday as they were escorted by law enforcement officers from a police van to the Bucharest offices of DIICOT, Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism.

Ramona Bolla, a DIICOT spokeswoman, confirmed to The Associated Press that the forensic searches of the digital devices are taking place on Wednesday to obtain further evidence in the case.

Responding to a journalist’s question upon his arrival at the DIICOT offices, Andrew Tate was heard to say that “the case file is completely empty” and that “there is no justice in Romania”. His brother Tristan was also heard saying, “…for my money, that’s why I’m in jail, I have money they tried to steal.”

Both Tates remain in custody until the end of February, according to a judge on Friday prosecutors granted an application for another 30-day extension of detention. It’s not clear if the Tates have appealed Friday’s verdict.

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

After the Tates and the two women were arrested DecemberDIICOT said in a statement that it had identified six victims in the human trafficking case who had been subjected to “acts of physical violence and psychological coercion” and sexually exploited by the members of the alleged criminal group.

The agency said the victims were lured with pretenses of love and were later intimidated, monitored and subjected to other control tactics while they were coerced into engaging in pornographic acts for significant financial gain.

A post appeared on Andrew Tate’s Twitter account late Tuesday, which read: “My case is a political operation aimed at reducing my influence. Throughout history, unjust imprisonment has been used to silence those in power. The game hasn’t changed.”

In early January, Romanian authorities entered a compound near Bucharest, where they towed one Fleet of luxury cars including a blue Rolls-Royce, a Ferrari and a Porsche. They said they seized an estimated $3.9 million worth of assets.

Prosecutors have said that if they can prove the owners made money from illegal activities such as human trafficking, the assets would be used to cover the costs of the investigation and compensate victims. Tate also unsuccessfully appealed the seizure of assets.


McGrath reported from Sighisoara, Romania.

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Sarah Y. Kim

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