Andrew Tate's Indictment In Romania Explained

"It's bang out the machete, boom in her face and grip her by the neck. Shut up b****," The Guardian quotes kickboxer-turned-online influencer Andrew Tate in one of his many social media rants regarding women. The U.K.-born Tate grew to fame through his portrayal of a luxury goods-based, machismo-saturated, violently misogynist lifestyle that got him banned, one by one, from TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram despite having billions of collective views, as the BBC explains. At minimum, per Euronews, Tate thinks women shouldn't leave the house or drive cars. At maximum, as The Guardian puts it, he's a veritable cult leader "capable of radicalizing men and boys to commit harm offline." In late December he was arrested and accused of crimes that may come as no shock given his extreme, vicious views: human trafficking and rape.

Tate moved to Bucharest, Romania about five years ago to "evade rape allegations" in the U.K., as he himself said (per Euronews). In April 2022, Romanian authorities received a tip that Tate was holding an American woman against her will in his house; they've apparently been keeping an eye on him ever since. On December 29, 2022, Romanian authorities announced (per the BBC) that they'd arrested "two British citizens" for creating "an organized crime group with the purpose of recruiting, housing and exploiting women by forcing them to create pornographic content meant to be seen on specialized websites for a cost." Meanwhile, Balaklava-wearing authorities were photographed escorting Tate and his brother Tristan out of their house.

Andrew Tate and others formally indicted in June 2023

After their arrest, the Tate brothers were detained by Romanian police until March 31, when a judge relinquished them to house arrest, according to Reuters. Then, on June 20, 2023, they, along with two Romanian females were indicted for human trafficking and creating a crime organization, per The Washington Post. The purported crime ring spanned Romania, the U.S., and the U.K.

Seven alleged victims claim that the accused lured them with assurances of a life of love and marriage, but instead controlled them by "violence and mental coercion," according to the prosecution (via The Washington Post). The victims say they were forced into pornography that was shared online and that their finances were pilfered by their captors. Andrew Tate is also accused of raping one of the women in March 2022. The Tates deny the allegations, saying the women were willing participants. In a tweet on June 20, Andrew Tate wrote of the indictment, "Im [sic] sure this case has absolutely nothing to do with stealing my wealth."

Romanian law dictates that a judge has 60 days to review the case files before going to trial, a trial that will likely take "several years," according to the BBC. In the meantime, more charges are still possible, including trafficking of minors and money laundering. 

The defense said in a statement, "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" (via The Washington Post). 

[Featured image by Andrew Tate via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 4.0]

Recruitment for the purpose of forced sexual acts

Andrew Tate came into the public eye in 2016 when he was kicked off of the British reality TV show "Big Brother" because of video footage showing him striking a woman with a belt, as Euronews explains. Tate said that the woman had agreed to the violence. Shortly after this he fled the country and moved to Romania, and since then struck up relationships with right-wing figures such as Nigel Farage and Alex Jones. Meanwhile, if the allegations are to be believed, Tate lured women into a human trafficking operation using the "loverboy" method. As the Netherlands government website says, this method traditionally involves a long-term, slow seduction that exploits vulnerable young women. The internet, however — Tate's domain — gives potential human traffickers much easier and faster access to people's lives.

In December 2022, the BBC said, Romania's Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism identified six women allegedly manipulated by Tate and his brother Tristan for the purpose of producing pornographic content online. Held captive under threat of violence, the women were purportedly forced to perform sexual acts. Police released footage from their raid, which reportedly showed weapons and money displayed like trophies in one of the rooms of Tate's house.

The pizza box connection

There's another bizarre and tangential element to this story involving two unlikely elements: a pizza delivery and climate justice activist — as her Twitter profile describes her — Greta Thunberg. On December 27, for whatever reason, Andrew Tate boasted to Thunberg on Twitter about the number of cars he owned and how many emissions they produce. Among other things, he wrote, "I have 33 cars. My Bugatti has a w16 8.0L quad turbo. My TWO Ferrari 812 competizione have 6.5L v12s. This is just the start." To this, Thunberg on Twitter adroitly replied, "Yes, please do enlighten me. Email me at smalld***" Tate, it should be noted, slunk his way back to Twitter after Elon Musk lifted his ban from the platform, as the BBC says. 

In response to Thunberg's rejoinder, Tate posted a video of himself on Twitter mocking Thunberg while smoking a cigar in a leather bathrobe and sitting in a leather chair. In the video, someone hands him a couple of pizzas while he talks about Thunberg being a "slave of the Matrix." The pizza boxes, he says, are "not recycled." As Euronews states, some have speculated that this video somehow gave away Tate's location, and this is why he was arrested so shortly thereafter; the BBC denies such a connection. After the announcement of Tate's arrest, Thunberg went back on Twitter and wrote, "This is what happens when you don't recycle your pizza boxes."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).