- George Wright
- BBC News
Police in Romania have arrested controversial content creator Andrew Tate as part of an investigation into a case of rape and human trafficking.
Police officers raided the home of Tate, who was arrested with his brother Tristan, located in the Romanian capital, Bucharest.
Reuters reported that a lawyer for the two brothers confirmed the news of their arrest.
A former kickboxer, Tate shot to stardom in 2016 when he was dropped from a popular British TV show over a video clip showing him assaulting a woman.
He then gained prominence on social media, with Twitter blocking him for posting a tweet in which he said women should “take responsibility” when they are sexually assaulted. His Twitter account was subsequently reactivated.
According to Reuters, prosecutors said, “The four suspects … appear to have formed an organized criminal group with the aim of recruiting, housing, and exploiting women by forcing them to create pornographic content in order to be viewed on specialized websites in return for money.”
The two brothers had been under investigation since last April, along with two Romanian citizens.
Videos circulating widely on social media show Tate and his brother being led away from a luxury villa.
Romania’s Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigation Department issued a statement, without naming the Tate brothers, saying that two British and two Romanian citizens were accused of being part of a criminal group focused on human trafficking.
The statement said the officers were able to identify six people who had been subjected to “sexual exploitation” by what it described as an “organized criminal group”.
Police said the “victims” were “recruited” by the two British nationals.
The statement went on to say that the victims were later forced to participate in making pornographic content under the threat of violence.
Police also released a video of the raid, showing weapons, knives and cash displayed in a room.
Tate had moved to Romania five years ago.
Rumors circulated online that the police had been tipped off about Tate’s presence in the country after he posted a video attacking environmental activist Greta Thunberg.
But this is not believed to be the truth.
In the video he posted, he received a pizza box from a local restaurant, which some social media users suggest may have been him who inadvertently revealed Tate’s whereabouts to police officers.
The spat with Greta Thunberg began earlier this week when Tate tagged the 19-year-old activist in a post boasting of the “huge emissions” of his fleet of cars.
Following his arrest, Thunberg tweeted, “This is what happens when you don’t rotate your pizza boxes,” referring to rumors circulating online.
Tate, a British citizen born in the United States, fought as a professional kickboxer and won world titles.
In 2016, he participated in the British “Big Brother” program and entered the house for the competition, but he was soon expelled after a video circulated showing him hitting a woman with a belt.
When he was fired from the programme, Tate said the video had been edited, calling it “pure lying to make me look bad”.
After this incident, he gained popularity on the Internet and social media, but Twitter banned him for his comment about the responsibility of women for their sexual assaults.
A ban was imposed on Tate on other means of communication such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, and he was expelled by the TikTok platform as well, which said that “misogyny is an abhorrent ideology that cannot be tolerated.”
But Tate’s Twitter account was recently reactivated after Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform.
His posts on other websites incite and target misogyny and have millions of views, with the BBC’s misinformation and social media correspondent Marianna Spring saying earlier this year that his content “has raised concerns about the impact it will have on the world”. the realist.”