Far-right influencer Andrew Tate and his brother were reportedly arrested in Romania on Thursday as part of a human trafficking investigation, Semafor and the Romanian media out Freedom report.
Romania’s Directorate for Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigations said in a statement on Thursday that two unnamed British citizens, along with two Romanians, had been detained for 24 hours for questioning as part of an investigation into women who were allegedly lured into marriages, abused, then coerced. to perform in exploitative online pornography videos.
Freedom, citing “court sources”, the two British citizens were named Andrew and Tristan Tate, and said they were being investigated for human trafficking and rape.
The Independent has contacted Romanian police for comment.
“The four suspects (…) appear to have created an organized criminal group with the aim of recruiting, harboring and exploiting women by forcing them to create pornographic content intended to be viewed on specialized websites for a fee”, have said prosecutors about the searches, reports Reuters. “They would have won large sums of money.”
The investigation reportedly targeted five houses linked to four suspects, who allegedly held six women captive at various locations around Bucharest, The daily beast reports, citing media.
One of the Romanian suspects in the sweep is a former Bucharest police officer who is dating one of the Tates, according to the outlet.
Unverified video widely circulated on social media appears to show Mr Tate being arrested.
“We cannot provide any details at this time regarding the allegations that they were detained; however, Andrew and Tristan Tate have the utmost respect for the Romanian authorities and will always help and assist in any way possible,” a Tates spokesperson said. The Independent.
Images obtained by a Romanian media Gandul shows officers moving through a luxury house, where guns and expensive cars can be seen.
In April, Romanian police raided Mr Tate’s home as part of a human trafficking investigation, following reports that a woman was being held at the Tates’ home.
As the investigation continued, police began investigating the “crimes of human trafficking and rape”. The daily beast reports.
“No girls were found in my house and no one was arrested,” Tristan Tate said at the time.
In an Instagram photo posted after the raid, Andrew Tate appeared to respond to the allegations, writing in a caption, “Officer…I think we can all agree that b****s love to lie.”
In 2016, Andrew Tate, a former kickboxer, was ejected from the reality TV show Big brotherafter a video emerged of him hitting a woman with a belt, and a second clip showed him telling the woman to count the bruises he had left on her body.
Both Mr Tate and the woman in the clip have denied any abuse, describing the encounter as consensual sexual activity, The Guardian reports.
The former kickboxer has gained a large following of men online and has been banned from various social media sites, for his aggressive and often misogynistic views, including that women should “shut the fuck up, have kids, sit down at home, shut up and make coffee”.
Earlier this week, climate activist Greta Thunberg went viral for poking fun at Mr Tate, who tagged Ms Thunberg in a post bragging about the carbon emissions of his various sports cars.