BBC feature looks at how the Tate brothers' empire began in a small Romanian town
The Tate brothers, who have been making the headlines around the world after being arrested in Romania, began raising their Romanian business empire from a three-storey building outside of the town of Sacele, Brasov county. "No Ferraris here. A Dacia and a Skoda sit parked between slushy snowdrifts outside the building," reads the BBC feature that looks at how the Tate empire began.
A local developer sold them two apartments in the villa in 2015-2016 for less than EUR 35,000 each. And, as BBC journalist Lucy Williamson discovered, the Tate brothers' life was quite different back then: they paid for the flats in instalments and had no cars.
Andrew Tate reportedly moved there with a British girlfriend, who also bought an apartment in the same building. But locals said other women were seen there, women who were either living there or visiting regularly.
Today, years later, the Tate brothers are wealthy people with expensive cars and property in their portfolio, attracting a lot of public attention. Romanian prosecutors, for example, seized several of their cars during their investigation, among them a Rolls Royce Wraith worth USD 380,000.
"Sacele might seem like an unlikely place for the two young British kickboxers to start out, but it reveals a connection with two people who would go on to play key roles in their lives," reads the BBC features, as it goes on tracing the Tates' wealth.
A local businessman reportedly first brought Andrew and Tristan Tate to Romania in 2014 and offered some support in navigating their life here. The brothers sold the properties in Sacele a few years later for little profit but started or got involved in new businesses - some targeted or somehow connected to the investigation in Romania.
"Tracing that wealth - how it was made and where it came from - is believed to form part of the investigation into rape and human trafficking allegations currently being carried out by Romania's organised crime unit," BBC said.
"The investigation could well answer questions about how the pair moved from their cheap flat in the mountains to the world of Bugattis, cigars and private planes posted their on social media accounts," the same feature concludes.
The complete BBC story is here.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos / Sabin Cirstoveanu)