Andrew Tate and his brother detained in Romania on suspicion of human trafficking, other charges
After engaging in snarky public back-and-forth with climate activist Greta Thunberg, Internet influencer and former professional kickboxer Andrew Tate was detained in Romania alongside his brother Tristan on suspicion of rape, human trafficking, and more, as The Hill reports.
According to Reuters, the brothers – who were arrested with an additional pair of suspects – have been under investigation since springtime.
Organized crime ring alleged
Fox News noted that following raids on Bucharest area properties associated with Tate and others, prosecutors from the Romanian anti-organized-crime unit issued a public statement on the offenses the detainees are suspected of committing.
“The four suspects...appear to have created an organized crime group with the purpose of recruiting, housing and exploiting women by forcing them to create pornographic content meant to be seen on specialised websites for a cost. They would have gained important sums of money,” the statement explained.
Prosecutors indicated that they had been in communication with six women claiming to have been victimized in the aforementioned manner.
Though Tate and his brother did not provide direct comment on the situation, an attorney for the duo confirmed their arrest, and their spokesperson stated that both men have “the utmost respect for the Romanian authorities and will always assist and help in any way they can.”
Andrew Tate, 36, has long sparked controversy with his prolific social media posts in which he portrays himself as a high-flying, luxury lifestyle-living raconteur highlighting “traditional masculine values,” as Fox News noted, and he has attracted scorn for what many view as a dangerously misogynistic approach to women.
During an August interview with Tucker Carlson, Tate alleged that he had been de-platformed by big tech simply because he had persuaded “large swaths of the population” coming around to his point of view regarding gender roles.
Boasting of his “very traditionally masculine life,” Tate explained, “I have fast cars and a big house and a lot of money and a beautiful girlfriend, and they thought this was very, very threatening”
“And for some reason, they decided that it's better if they annihilate me from the internet and replace me with somebody who's more aligned with whatever they're trying to purport,” added Tate.
In the immediate run-up to his arrest, Tate was embroiled in a bizarre online sparring match with Thunberg, which began when he taunted the climate warrior about his collection of energy inefficient vehicles, as NBC News noted.
“Please provide your email address so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions,” Tate wrote.
Thunberg, who rarely minces words, replied with the instruction, “yes, please do enlighten me” and included the fictitious email address “firstname.lastname@example.org” for him to submit the details.
Those remarks, as the New York Post reports, prompted Tate to record a video retort in which he asked someone to bring him pizza, adding, “make sure that these boxes are not recycled,” and in an odd twist of fate, the name of the chain restaurant from which they came – Jerry's Pizza – was said to have given a strong clue about his whereabouts.
Not surprisingly, Thunberg could not resist pointing out the irony of the scenario, tweeting after Tate's arrest, “This is what happens when you don't recycle your pizza boxes.”
As a result of the Romanian police raid on Tate's home, which involved the use of tactical gear and battering rams, authorities seized multiple firearms, a hatchet, a knuckle duster, and an array of swords, the Post further noted.
While the four suspects were initially said to be under a 24-hour hold as part of the probe into claims of illegal activity, on Friday, prosecutors requested a 30-day extension as investigation into the charges continues.
Evincing his characteristic bluster and bravado even amid potentially life-altering legal jeopardy, Tate posted a simple reaction to his current circumstances on Twitter Friday, writing, “The Matrix sent their agents.”