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Andrew Tate, a controversial media personality and former professional kickboxer, has been arrested in Romania by anti-terrorism authorities, the Associated Press reported. He was detained along with his brother, Tristan Tate, on human trafficking and rape charges.
Andrew and Tristan Tate were being investigated and detained by the DIICOT (Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism) for questioning. DIICOT confirmed the raid in a statement but did not name the suspects. The brothers’ lawyer confirmed to Reuters they had been detained.
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A criminal file has been opened on the names of the British brothers. According to Romanian news channel Antena 3 CNN, a former policewoman was also searched and questioned for her alleged involvement in the case.
Romanian prosecutors reportedly believe that the Tates are recruiting and exploiting women for the creation of pornographic clips, which they would distribute via sites like OnlyFans for a profit.
In April, Romanian authorities found two young women (one of whom has American citizenship) in a villa in Voluntari, who claimed they were held by force by the Tates. The brothers were questioned at DIICOT for five hours and then released, but inquiries continued, per Libertatea.
Earlier this week, Andrew Tate tagged 19-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg in a tweet, bragging about his 33 cars. “Please provide your email address so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions,” he wrote, to which Thunberg responded, “Yes, please do enlighten me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The tweet quickly became one of the most-liked tweets of all time, with nearly 3 million likes.
On Wednesday, Tate responded to Thunberg in a video, in which he eats pizza from a box labeled “Jerry’s Pizza,” a Romanian restaurant chain. The video went viral on Twitter, and users theorized an address on the pizza box helped pinpoint Tate’s location and led to his arrest. However, a DIICOT spokesperson refuted the claim to the Associated Press, saying “funny, but no.”
Tate rose to fame in 2016 as a guest on the British reality show “Big Brother,” on which he drew criticism for homophobic and racist comments made on Twitter. He was kicked off the series after a video that seemingly showed him hitting a woman with a belt surfaced. Tate and the woman both said the actions were consensual.
Elon Musk rescinded Tate’s Twitter ban a month ago.
The Tate brothers started a webcam business in which they sold “fake sob stories” to male callers. Andrew claims to have made millions of dollars from the operation, which he later admitted was a “total scam.”
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