West News Wire: An investigation into alleged human trafficking has led to the detention of Andrew Tate and his brother in Romania. Andrew Tate is a controversial British-American kickboxer-turned-internet personality.
According to Romanian prosecutors, Tate and his brother Tristian will be detained for questioning for up to 24 hours.
An image of Tate, one of the most prominent and polarizing influences, being carried into a police truck by armed police was shown on Romanian television on Thursday night.
The Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism in Romania did not identify any suspects but claimed in a statement that four people, two of whom are British citizens and the other two are Romanian nationals, are suspected of having formed a criminal gang to engage in human trafficking in Romania as well as in the UK and the US.
Investigators identified six alleged victims who had been sexually exploited by the group, which lured the women by expressing interest in a romantic relationship before using physical violence, intimidation and surveillance to force them into producing pornographic material, the directorate said.
The investigation relates to allegations of organising a criminal group, human trafficking and rape, the directorate said.
In April, the Tate brothers were questioned by Romanian authorities after a tip about a US woman being held against her will but both were released without any arrests made.
Andrew Tate later said in a YouTube video that he had been “pranked” by someone making a false report and he was “totally innocent”.
Tate’s detention comes a day after his back-and-forth on Twitter with climate activist Greta Thunberg exploded across the internet.
Tate, who has amassed billions of views across social media with his videos depicting a lifestyle filled with fast cars, exotic locales and beautiful women, has been banned on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for expressing extreme views, including that women bear some responsibility for sexual assault.
Tate’s Twitter is among a number of controversial accounts that were reinstated after Elon Musk, a self-described free absolutist, bought the platform in October.