Andrew Tate Arrested in Romania on Human Trafficking Charges

TW: Discussions of Sexual Assault, Harassment, Abuse, and Human Trafficking.

Andrew Tate Arrested in Romania on Human Trafficking Charges

Controversial influencer Andrew Tate has been arrested in Romania on charges of organized crime, human trafficking, and rape after a long search by Romanian officials. With more and more incriminating information coming out every day, here’s everything you need to know about Tate and his arrest. 

Who is Andrew Tate?

For the past year, the name Andrew Tate has been thrown around a lot, both in praise and criticism. Tate, a retired kickboxing champion and self-proclaimed misogynist, has been posting on social media describing the roles he believes women should play in society, with some of his posts saying that women “belong in the home”, “can’t drive”, and are “the property of men”. Tate also began to encourage violence against women, going on to describe in one TikTok how he would react to a woman accusing him of cheating on her, saying “it’s bang out the machete, boom in her face and grip her by the neck. Shut up…”. The thirty-six-year-old quickly gained influencer status, and, with the help of showing off his luxury car collection, impressionable young boys began to religiously watch his content. Through this newfound audience, his message was being absorbed more than ever.

The young age of Tate’s audience quickly became a widespread concern across the internet as female teachers and mothers began sharing their experiences with young men applying Tate’s misogynistic beliefs to their everyday lives. Teachers began to have teenage boys expressing these beliefs both to them and to other students. Many schools are worried about the hate speech that has been condoned by Tate and are looking to take action to make it known to young people that these beliefs are harmful. Mothers have discussed how their young sons have been caught in Tate’s web, some even going on to say that their sons will turn the hateful values onto them. 

Crime and Suspicious Activity

After Tate became a well-known name, his alleged involvement in crime was brought to the public’s attention. Although he is a citizen of the United Kingdom, Tate moved to Eastern Europe in 2017. When explaining why he decided to make the move in a now-deleted video from his YouTube channel, Tate says that the laws regarding rape in Romania were “probably forty percent of the reason [he] moved to Romania”. He continues, saying “I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want. I like being free.”. Tate’s controversial opinions on sexual assault were expanded on in a 2017 Twitter rant regarding the women coming forward as victims of sexual assault and harassment at the hands of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Discussing the situation, Tate began victim-blaming, saying “if you put yourself in a position to be raped, you must bare some responsibility. I’m not saying it’s OK you got raped. No woman should be abused regardless. However, with sexual assault, they want to put zero blame on the victim whatsoever. Tate goes on to say that he has no sympathy for women who have gone out to drink and been assaulted, comparing it to someone leaving “a million dollars outside [his] door”. To close out his rant, he says that women who are victims of sexual assault and harassment need to “take some personal responsibility”. 

This take on sexual harassment and rape led people to look into how the wealthy influencer made his money after he retired from kickboxing. After some digging, internet detectives found Tate’s business website which featured women being sexually exploited. On the same website, Tate discusses that he had dated nearly 50% of his employees at one point or another and points out that “none were in the adult entertainment industry before they met [him]”. The influencer goes on to describe his “process”, one that very heavily resembles a human trafficking technique called the “loverboy method”. He says his job was to “meet a girl, go on a few dates, sleep with her, test if she’s quality, get to fall in love with me to where she’d do anything I said..” before exploiting her on the site so they could “become rich together”. 

The Arrest and Alleged Charges

Tate and his brother, Tristan Tate, have been under investigation by Romanian officials since April of 2022 when authorities received word of a twenty-one-year-old American woman being held against her will in their home. Their home was raided, and both of the brothers were heavily questioned before they were released from custody. However, that did not expel suspicions of their human trafficking allegations, and authorities launched a full investigation to cover those as well. Once they believed they had built a strong enough case against the brothers, Police had a near-impossible time trying to find them, as they continuously moved around the region, allegedly trying to avoid their arrest. Finally, after searching five different homes, the Romanian authorities were able to locate the Tate brothers and arrest them alongside two Romanian women on Friday, December 29th, 2022. 

As said in a statement released by Romanian authorities regarding the arrest, the four suspects are being accused of creating an organization in which they recruited victims by “misrepresenting their intention to enter into a marriage/cohabitation relationship and the existence of genuine feelings of love”. These victims were then forced to perform sexually exploitative acts with “physical violence and mental coercion”. Also mentioned in the statement was that they have identified six of the women who were victimized, and a separate allegation of rape from March of 2022 towards one of the suspects, meaning Andrew Tate now has charges of organized crime, human trafficking, and rape. 

Once arrested, a Romanian judge decided that Tate and his associates’ arrest would be extended from the routine twenty-four hours to thirty days, giving officials more time to gather evidence and build more of the case. Earlier this month, all four of the suspects submitted appeals against the extension but were rejected by the court on January 10th. A document containing the previous Judge’s decision explained the rejection, saying that “the possibility of them evading investigations cannot be ignored”, before continuing to say the quad could potentially “leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition”. 

The Romanian authorities have also seized nearly $4 million dollars worth of Tate’s assets, as reported by the country’s Asset Recovery and Management Agency, or ANABI, in a press release on Saturday, January 14th. A total of twenty-nine of Tate’s possessions, including luxury vehicles, expensive watches, and varying amounts of multiple different currencies. These seizures were ordered by prosecutors with the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism, according to the report.  

Incriminating Voice Memos and Protesting Fans

This past month has been an especially unbelievable one for Tate. On Wednesday, January 10th, Vice World News revealed that a third woman has come out as a victim of Tate, providing incredibly incriminating text and voice messages she received from him in 2015 after he allegedly assaulted her. In the voice memos, Tate says stomach-churning, terrible things to the woman, including describing the assault and how he crossed the woman’s boundaries. Tate has denied all involvement with the woman, insisting that the messages are doctored.

More recently, throughout the past week, masses of Andrew Tate fans have swarmed Athens, Greece in protest of the influencer’s arrest. Videos of the young men roaming the streets, pumping their fists, and shouting “Free Top G!” (“Top G” is short for “Top Gangster”, a term used by Tate and his fans for anyone they respect.), while others held up signs demanding for Tate’s release immediately. This action has left authorities concerned, as it means that even though Tate has trafficking charges hanging over his head right now, he has a legion of blind followers that believe in his message and are willing to do anything to keep said message alive. 

Why is This Important? 

As Andrew Tate spends his next month in jail, potentially awaiting a huge trial, it’s important to take the time to reflect on how society can improve through moments like these. Something that has been encouraged as a result of Tate’s rise to popularity is the monitoring of young people’s technology use. As seen with this particular situation, when hateful, regressive ideals are constantly being pushed into the consciousness of young people, they begin to absorb them and mimic them. Although oftentimes kids are painted out to be oblivious creatures, they’re quite the opposite. Humans have evolutionarily developed to closely observe the people around them as a way to learn how to behave and survive. Kids are so impressionable because they’re still trying to learn what is and what is not considered socially acceptable to the rest of society. So, when they see seemingly successful men on the internet with luxury items and a lavish life who just so happens to be pushing misogyny and violence, they are going to subconsciously absorb those misogynistic and violent ideals and begin to think that, in order to be successful and “cool”, they too must mistreat women. This concept doesn’t only apply to young kids either, as proved by Tate and his thirteen to twenty-five-year old audience. Parents, teachers, and other important pillars of society are begging people to be more conscious of what content they and/or their children are consuming, as it could potentially lead to a dangerous ordeal such as this one.