Romanian authorities seize $4 million of assets in Andrew Tate case

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romanian authorities said they have seized goods and money worth 18 million lei ($3.95 million) as a part of a criminal inquiry into alleged human trafficking that led to the arrest of divisive internet personality Andrew Tate.

In the past week, the National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets has taken into administration 29 movable assets, including luxury vehicles and watches, and various amounts of cash in different currencies, it said in a statement late on Saturday.

On Saturday, a Reuters reporter saw several cars, including a Rolls-Royce, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, being taken from Tate's compound on the outskirts of the capital, Bucharest, to be transported to a storage location.

Andrew Tate, his brother and two Romanian female suspects were detained on Dec. 29 on charges of forming a criminal gang to exploit six women sexually. They have denied wrongdoing.

The detained challenged their 30-day arrest warrant, but the Bucharest court of appeals rejected the challenge this week and said they should remain in police custody.

Andrew Tate, a former contestant on the UK reality show Big Brother, gained notoriety for misogynistic remarks and hate speech.

His remarks got him banned from all major social media platforms, although his Twitter account became active again in November after Elon Musk acquired the platform.

Tate, who holds U.S. and British nationality, has said women are partially responsible for being raped and that they belong to men.

($1 = 4.5622 lei)

(Reporting by Octav Ganea; Writing by Anna Koper; Editing by Christina Fincher)