VOLUNTARI, Romania (Reuters) - Romanian authorities started on Saturday to take away luxury cars from a property close to the capital as part of a criminal inquiry into alleged human trafficking that led to the arrest of divisive internet personality Andrew Tate.
Romanian anti-organised crime prosecutors detained Tate, his brother Tristan and two Romanian female suspects on Dec. 29 on charges of forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit six women. They have denied wrongdoing.
A Reuters reporter saw several cars, including a Rolls-Royce, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, being taken from the Tate compound on the outskirts of the capital, Bucharest, to be transported to a storage location.
Earlier this week, prosecutors told Reuters they had seized 15 luxury vehicles and more than 10 properties and homes belonging to the suspects in Bucharest and the counties of Prahova and Brasov to prevent the assets being sold or hidden.
Tate's lawyer was not immediately available for comment.
The four suspects challenged their 30-day arrest warrant earlier this week, but the Bucharest court of appeals rejected the challenge and said they should remain in police custody.
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.
(This story has been corrected to make clear cars were first to be taken away from a property near the capital, not from all sites, in the first paragraph)
(Reporting by Octav Ganea; Writing by Anna Koper; Editing by Helen Popper)