Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) prosecutors conducted new searches Thursday morning at the homes of millionaire brothers Andrew and Tristan Tate, who were accused of criminal conspiracy and rape. Following the raids, the two were detained for 24 hours. Two Romanian nationals were also detained in the case.
In this case, investigators first raided the Pipera (Bucharest) address of brothers Tristan and Andrew Tate on April 11, 2022, when a complaint was received at the US Embassy that a woman with US citizenship was being held forcibly at their residence.
Initially, the investigation was carried out by the police of Ilfov (county), who immediately raided their home in a case opened under the coordination of the prosecutors of the Buftea (a town close to Bucharest) Public Prosecutor’s Office for deprivation of liberty and rape.
On that occasion, the Romanian authorities discovered that the British had a video chat studio operated in a building about 500 meters from their villa. Several young women were found there, including a woman with American nationality and a young woman from the Republic of Moldova.
The two allegedly said they were being held against their will after being recruited by a method commonly used by human traffickers, known generically as “loverboy.”
What happened in April?
This is what DIICOT said in April regarding the investigation that involved Andrew and Tristan Tate.
“On 11.04.2022, the Buftea Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered the declination in favor of the DIICOT – Central Structure in a case in which investigations were being carried out about the offense of unlawful deprivation of liberty. On 11.04.2022, the DIICOT prosecutors ordered the extension of the criminal prosecution for the offenses of trafficking in human beings and rape. The Buftea Public Prosecutor’s Office conducted house searches at two properties in Ilfov County and seized goods of interest to resolve the case. During the night of 11/12.04.2022, DIICOT prosecutors interviewed several witnesses to clarify the facts. DIICOT is continuing investigations with the support of BCCO Bucharest, the criminal prosecution being conducted in rem.”DIICOT statement released on April 12, 2022
You can see the whole statement here.
The searches occurred after law enforcement officials were alerted by the Diplomatic Security Office of the US Embassy in Bucharest. The American officials claimed that a 21-year-old girl was in the building and was deprived of her liberty. After checking, police found not one but two young women.
The two young women, the American and another Romanian citizen, were found in a villa in Voluntari by police and prosecutors who raided the house with search warrants. The women claimed they were being held there by two brothers with British citizenship.
According to Romanian authorities, at that time, Andrew Tate and his brother were held for hearings for five hours, then released.
Andrew and Tate were arrested again in December.
According to DIICOT, two British nationals and two Romanians have been involved in criminal activity since April.
“The case involved four suspects (two British citizens and two Romanian citizens) who, in early 2021, formed an organised criminal group with a view to committing the crime of human trafficking in Romania and other countries, such as the USA and the UK.
The victims were recruited by the British nationals by misleading them into believing that they intended to enter into a marriage/cohabitation relationship and that they had real feelings of love (the “loverboy” method).”DIICOT
You can see the official statement here. They also provided a video of the search on the residence’s premises. In the video, we can see that DIICOT found a gun, and several weapons, from swords to pocket knives.
According to the Romanian newspaper GÂNDUL, 24-hour arrest warrants have been issued for the Tate brothers and the former police officer involved in the case.
The investigation is broader. Police officers and DIICOT prosecutors conducted five house searches in Bucharest and Ilfov on Thursday at the homes of four people suspected of setting up an organized criminal group, human trafficking, and rape, and they were detained.
More photos and the video of the arrest of the Tate brothers can be seen here.
Coincidence or not, the British Andrew and Tristan Tate have been detained after a controversial tweet the former fighter had dedicated on Twitter to Greta Thunberg. According to unofficial sources, the Romanian authorities would have traced the Tate brothers after the tweet.
Romanian authorities would have waited for the brothers to come back to Romania.
For nine months, anti-mafia prosecutors have been piecing together all the evidence gathered from the Tate brothers’ villa and video chat studio to prove that the allegations made by their alleged victims at the hearings are true.
Sources close to the investigation told Gândul that shortly after the computer forensics were completed, the authorities waited for the right moment to catch the Tate brothers, who were away from the country most of the time.
After seeing, including on social media, that they were together in Romania, DIICOT prosecutors mobilized special gendarmerie troops and raided their villa in Pipera and other addresses.
A controversial tweet, Greta Thunberg, and human trafficking allegations
Here’s what the American actor and activist George Takei, known for his role in the series Star Trek posted on Twitter shortly after the Tate brothers were arrested in Bucharest.
Obviously, the actor and activist managed to pinpoint exactly what happened. It turns out Tate’s activity on social media was the trigger for the new round of searches and arrests.
Andrew Tate, the most famous of the brothers, a former kickboxer, likes to boast his luxurious way of life. While everyone thinks his main revenues come from his activity as an influencer, he was banned from Twitter for hate speech in 2017. Upon Elon Musk’s takeover, Andrew returned to Twitter and continued his controversial statements, targeting Greta Thunberg, the teen climate activist. Here’s the conversation:
The same day, Romanian authorities raided his Bucharest residence in an investigation that dates back to April 2022.
We still await conclusions from the Romanian authorities 24 hours after the arrest. Revisit this page for updates in this case.