Controversial British influencer, Andrew Tate and his brother, Tristan have been indicted on human trafficking and r*pe charges in Romania.
The brothers, along with Romanian women Luana Radu and Georgiana Naghel are currently under house arrest after being detained in the country last year.
The anti-organised crime prosecution’s unit (DIICOT) ‘ordered the indictment’ of the four defendants for offences, including ‘setting up an organised criminal group… trafficking in persons… rape’, they said.
DIICOT prosecutors have ordered the confiscation of assets from the Tate brothers including 15 luxury cars, luxury watches and about $3 million they held in cryptocurrency, the agency’s statement said.
Reacting to the news, Tate, 36, wrote on Twitter: ‘I’m sure this case has absolutely nothing to do with stealing my wealth.’
A spokesperson for the Tate brothers told MailOnline that while the indictment was ‘entirely predictable, we embrace the opportunity it presents to demonstrate their innocence and vindicate their reputation.’
The four were held in police custody from December 29 until March 31 before a Bucharest court put them under house arrest.
Andrew Tate has also been charged with raping one of the victims, while his brother Tristan has been charged with instigating others to violence. The brothers and female associates have denied all allegations of abuse and trafficking.
Under Romanian law, the case gets sent to the court’s preliminary chamber, where a judge has 60 days to inspect the case files to ensure legality.
The Tate brothers, former kickboxers who have US and British nationality with millions of online followers, are the highest profile suspects to be sent to trial in Romania for human trafficking.
Prosecutors have said the Tate brothers recruited their victims by seducing them and falsely claiming to want a relationship or marriage.
This accusation was laid out in a press release on Tuesday about the indictment.
‘The injured persons were recruited by the foreign nationals, by misleading them about the intention to establish a marriage/cohabitation relationship and the existence of real feelings of love (the loverboy method),’ the release says.
The indictment says the alleged victims were ‘transported and housed in buildings in Ilfov county where, by exercising acts of physical violence and mental coercion (through intimidation, constant surveillance, control and invoking alleged debts), they were sexually exploited by group members by forcing them to perform demonstrations pornographic in order to produce and disseminate through some social media platforms materials having such a character.’
It goes on to say that the seven injured persons identified during the criminal investigation were subjected to forced labour’.
It adds that of the seven who were also ‘sexually exploited by the organised criminal group, three became civil parties in the criminal process.’
‘Regarding the crime of rape,’ the indictment says, ‘it was noted that, in March 2022, an injured person was forced by one of the defendants, through the exercise of physical violence and mental pressure, to repeatedly have sexual relations (two material acts).’
It also accused the defendants of violence against the one ‘injured persons’, citing an October 2021 incident in which one – who wanted to stop making pornographic material and leave the Ilfov property – was attacked.
It also accused the defendants of illegally accessing a computer system and altering ‘the integrity of the computer data’ of one of the alleged victims.
It said the defendants ‘posted on the social media account belonging to her the materials that – obtained in this way, which depicted her in compromising poses.’
In a statement to MailOnline, a representative for the brothers said their primary focus now ‘will be to establish the truth and ensure a fair and impartial examination of the evidence the legal team will submit.
‘The indictment now allows us to present a comprehensive body of evidence, diligently collected and prepared over time, which will undoubtedly substantiate the brothers’ claims of innocence. Tate’s legal team are prepared to cooperate fully with the appropriate authorities, presenting all necessary evidence to exonerate the brothers and expose any misinterpretations or false accusations,’ they said.
‘We express our gratitude to all those who have stood by us, supporting our clients during this challenging time.
‘We request the media and the public to exercise patience and refrain from making premature judgements until all the facts are presented in a court of law, and respect the basic principle of democracy, the presumption of innocence.’
Last week, DIICOT announced the brothers were being investigated for more serious human trafficking charges.
The officials said the pair – along with the two other female Romanian suspects – were being investigated for human trafficking in continued form, saying it was a more serious crime than separate counts of trafficking.
DIICOT notified the Tate brothers that the human trafficking charge had changed to trafficking in continued form, a DIICOT spokesperson said on June 13.
Under Romanian law, trafficking of adults carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
One more alleged victim was added to the case, which started out with six women, the spokesperson said.
At the time, the Tate brothers’ legal team said the changes were in the suspects’ ‘legal interest’. ‘The legal framework has been revised and altered to ensure an impartial investigation is upheld,’ they said in a statement.
‘The brothers and their legal team consider today’s hearing proves their legal rights are respected and necessary steps are being taken to ensure an objective investigation. They will continue to collaborate with authorities to prove their innocence and restore their reputation,’ the statement added.
Tate has denied any wrongdoing.
News of the indictment of Tate and his associates came a week after a fourth British woman claimed she was a victim of sexual assault by the influencer, alleging the he choked her until she lost consciousness.Share this story to friends