She continued, “Andrew is a controversial public figure.”
Petrescu also said in one of Tate’s online videos that rape in Romania was “a very serious crime” and that he “would like to live in a country with strong rules against the abuse of women.” The video could not be found and Petrescu did not provide a link when asked.)
However, the reality on the ground in Romania is very different. In addition to the material poverty and lack of education many women live in, factors such as the country’s geographic location (close to the Middle East and Western Europe) coupled with her EU membership make travel easier and It enables international and domestic human trafficking.
The US State Department has regularly criticized Romania’s response to rampant human trafficking in its annual report on the issue. up to date, published in July 2022, noted the authorities’ continued efforts to improve, but noted that “Romania is a leading source of victims of sex and labor trafficking in Europe. and continues to be.” More than one-third of her identified sex trafficking victims are children, according to the report. Romanian officials are under investigation for alleged involvement in human trafficking, according to the report.
Exacerbating the situation is the fact that investigative agencies are overwhelmed by a lack of resources. Prosecutors from the Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigation Service, the same unit investigating Tate, said one of the obstacles prosecutors have in combating the growing phenomenon of human trafficking is that the Romanian system has no senior detectives. said that the lack of specialized judicial police similar to
“Human trafficking and modern-day slavery have become a national sport in Romania,” said the prosecutor, who spoke to BuzzFeed News on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media by his superiors. “We have prosecutors, but we don’t have enough assigned police officers in our office to handle cases.”
On the other hand, gangs, often made up of dozens of members each performing a specific function, earn millions of dollars a year and sell international hideouts, firearms, fake travel documents, expensive lawyers, and more. have access to resources.
Iulian Lorinz, a Romanian parliamentarian who recently introduced legislation aimed at increasing the resources available to authorities against human traffickers, told BuzzFeed News that the Tate case was by no means isolated.
“Tate chose to come here because he saw a fragile state and a large number of vulnerable women,” says Lorinz, noting that “misogyny plays a role in Romania’s social and institutional attitudes to women’s trafficking.” “Romania has not invested enough in victim protection,” he added.
A local expert contacted by BuzzFeed News said the arrest of the Tates and their accomplices was the exception rather than the rule, and that international politics may have played a role.
“The US embassy is very powerful in Romania,” said Bucharest criminal attorney Alexandre Guica, who said information about a young American woman who claimed to have been detained at the Bucharest embassy sparked a Tate investigation. I commented on the fact that I got it. Against her will, she was attacked by Tate.
An anonymous prosecutor said in Romania that “Tate probably thought he would be insulated from legal consequences,” and the fact that an American woman had filed charges against Tate embarrassed local authorities, He added that he believed it urged him to take more immediate action. .
“If she was Romanian, I think they would have moved slower,” he added.