Misogynistic internet personality Andrew Tate, 36, and his brother, Tristan Tate, were arrested by Romanian police on Thursday in connection with a human-trafficking investigation.
The villa where the Tate brothers were staying was raided by Romania's Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT). A DIICOT statement released on Thursday confirmed that the agency had raided five homes linked to four people suspected of human trafficking, organized crime, and rape. It did not name the suspects, but said that two of them were British citizens.
The brothers, who are British citizens, are under investigation for forming an organized criminal group responsible for kidnapping young women and exploiting them by making them the subjects of porn videos intended to be sold via websites like OnlyFans, sources told Romanian media.
“We cannot provide any details at the moment regarding alleged reports that they have been detained," a representative for Andrew told BuzzFeedNews. "However, Andrew and Tristan Tate have the utmost respect for the Romanian authorities and will always assist and help in any way they can.”
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On Friday, Andrew Tate tweeted, "The Matrix sent their agents."
DIICOT said on Thursday that the suspects, including two Romanians, would be detained for at least 24 hours for questioning. All four were later ordered by a judge to be held for 30 days during the ongoing investigation, the Associated Press reported.
Just a day before his arrest, Andrew — a former kickboxer who has described married women as “property” — got into a Twitter spat with 19-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Some news outlets reported that authorities were able to tell that Andrew was in the country because a Romanian chain's pizza boxes appeared in a video he released mocking Thunberg. But Ramona Bolla, a spokesperson for DIICOT, told the Washington Post that the pizza boxes did not play a role in the arrests or their timing.
Earlier this year, police had raided the Tates’ Romanian residence to investigate human-trafficking allegations sparked by reports of an American woman being held against her will in the house. During that raid, police found both an American and a Romanian woman in the building, according to a local news report. Tristan denied that any women were found in their house in an interview with the Daily Beast.
In 2017, Andrew was banned from Twitter after posting tweets saying that women should bear "some responsibility" for being sexually assaulted. He was also banned from Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok this year for violating their policies.
However, Twitter, under new owner Elon Musk, restored Andrew's account in November.