Andrew Tate detained in Romania during human trafficking investigation
According to police, Andrew Tate, a former professional kickboxer and online personality who regularly makes unflattering comments about women to his large following on social media sites , was arrested by Romanian authorities on Thursday during an investigation into human trafficking and rape.
Prosecutors from the Directorate General of Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigation in Romania said in a statement on Thursday that two Britons and two Romanians had been detained for 24 hours as part of the investigation. . The statement did not name Mr Tate, but police in Romania on Friday confirmed that he and his brother Tristan, both British and American nationals, were among those detained. According to Mr. Tate’s website, the two brothers live in Romania.
Prosecutors say local authorities have conducted searches of homes they believe are linked to human trafficking and rape. Authorities said they were investigating whether the suspects formed a criminal group in 2021 to engage in human trafficking in Romania, the US and the UK.
Prosecutors said the six victims, who are believed to have been coerced into performing sexual acts, were detained in buildings outside Bucharest. Prosecutors said that on two separate occasions in March, one of the suspects used violence and psychological pressure to rape the victim.
Mr Tate, in his 30s, rose to fame in 2016 after appearing on the UK version of the reality TV show Big Brother. He continued to build his online presence, regularly making hateful comments, including that women who were raped were partly responsible for the attacks.
Mr Tate gained attention again this week after arguing on Twitter with 19-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, boasting about his exotic car collection and their “huge emissions”. , and ask for her email address. Thunberg responded with an address ending with “@getalife.com.”
Online speculation has focused on whether a particular pizza box included in one of Mr Tate’s tweets to Ms Thunberg helped lead authorities to him, but Ramona Bolla, a spokeswoman for the Directorate General Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism, told The New York Times on Friday that was not the case.
It is unclear whether Mr Tate and the other suspects will face charges or if they will remain in custody. But prosecutors asked a court in Bucharest to extend Tate’s detention by 30 days, Reuters reported.
Mr Tate did not respond to a request for comment, but on Friday morning, he tweeted“The Matrix has sent their agent.”
Mr. Tate’s lawyer, his brother, and two other detainees, whose identities have not been identified by authorities, could not be reached.
In August, Mr. Tate was banned from Facebook, YouTube and TikTok, citing all of them in violation of their policies. He was also briefly banned from using Twitter but was reinstated to the platform, where he has 3.7 million followersafter Elon Musk acquired the company in October.
Stefania Matache contributed reporting from Bucharest, Romania.