'Influencer' Andrew Tate arrested in Romania in connection with human trafficking probe
THE controversial "online influencer" Andrew Tate has been arrested in Romania as part of an investigation into organised crime, human trafficking and rape.
Tate, 36, was detained with his brother Tristan, 34, during a raid on his house in Bucharest yesterday (December 29.)
Romanian prosecutors allege that the brothers are part of an organised crime group set up to recruit, house and exploit women by "forcing them to create pornographic content meant to be seen on specialised websites for a cost."
Andrew Tate is a former kickboxer who has courted controversy over alleged misogynistic views.
He first came to notoriety in 2016 when he was removed from the British Celebrity Big Brother after a video emerged that appeared to show him attacking a woman with a belt.
He said at the time that the video had been edited, calling it "a total lie trying to make me look bad".
The woman in the video later insisted her relationship with Tate was consensual.
He was later banned by Twitter after saying women should "bear responsibility" for being sexually assaulted.
He has since been reinstated to the platform by Elon Musk as part of his fr4ee speech drive.
He has been banned from other social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, which said "misogyny is a hateful ideology that is not tolerated".
The brothers have been under investigation since April alongside two Romanian nationals, police said.
Video circulated on social media shows Tate and his brother being led away from a luxury villa.
Romania's Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) issued a statement, that did not name the brothers, stating that two British citizens and two Romanian citizens were suspected of being part of a criminal group focused on human trafficking.
It also released a video of the raid, showing guns, knives, and money on display in one room.
Tate, a British citizen who was born in the US, moved to Romania five years ago.
He was a professional kickboxer who won world titles.
On Wednesday (December 28) Tate was involved in a war of words on Twitter with climate activist Greta Thunberg, after asking for her email address to send her a full list of his petrol guzzling sports cars.
STRIKE A POSE: Tate flashes a nipple during video come back at Greta Thunberg
She was applauded on Twitter for cutting him down with a one-line response, which said: "Yes, please do enlighten me. Email me at email@example.com."
British journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer has been widely mocked on the platform since Tate's arrest after she backed him over Thunberg in a tweet, saying she would "choose Tate's life every time" over the eco activist's. She also removed a tweet that referenced Thunberg's autism.
A spokesperson for Tate said: "We cannot provide any details at the moment regarding alleged reports that they have been detained; however, Andrew and Tristan Tate have the utmost respect for the Romanian authorities and will always assist and help in any way they can."