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Andrew Tate Detained in Romania over Rape and Human Trafficking Case

He his house raided in the capital, Bucharest.

Controversial online influencer Andrew Tate has been detained in Romania as part of a human trafficking and rape investigation.

Mr Tate – who was detained alongside his brother Tristan – had his house raided in the capital, Bucharest.

A lawyer for the brothers confirmed their detention, Reuters said.

The former kickboxer rose to fame in 2016 when he was removed from British TV show Big Brother over a video which appeared to show him attacking a woman.

He went on to gain notoriety online, with Twitter banning him for saying women should “bear responsibility” for being sexually assaulted. He has since been reinstated.

“The four suspects … appear to have created an organised 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,” prosecutors said, according to the Reuters news agency.

The brothers have been under investigation since April alongside two Romanian nationals.

Video circulated widely on social media appears to show Mr Tate and his brother being led away from a luxury villa.

Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) issued a statement, but did not name the Tate brothers, stating that two British citizens and two Romanian citizens were suspected of being part of a criminal group focused on human trafficking.

The statement said officers had identified six people who were “sexually exploited” by what it called an “organised criminal group”. Police said the victims were “recruited” by the British citizens, who they said had misrepresented their intention to enter into a relationship with the victims – which it called “the loverboy method”.

They were later forced to perform in pornographic content under threat of violence, the statement said.

It also released a video of the raid, showing guns, knives, and money on display in one room.

Mr Tate moved to Romania five years ago.

Rumours had swirled online that police had been tipped off to Mr Tate’s presence in the country after he posted a video taking aim at the environmental activist Greta Thunberg. However, this is not believed to be the case.

In the footage he posted, he was handed a pizza box from a local restaurant, which some users suggested had inadvertently revealed his location to officers.

The row with Ms Thunberg began earlier this week when Mr Tate tagged the 19-year-old activist in a post boasting about the “enormous emissions” produced by his fleet of cars.

Following the arrest, Ms Thunberg tweeted “this is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes,” referring to the online rumour.

Prior to gaining worldwide notoriety, Mr Tate – a British citizen who was born in the US – fought professionally as a kickboxer and won world titles.

In 2016, he entered the Big Brother house but was soon removed after a video was circulated, which appeared to show him hitting a woman with a belt.

At the time of his expulsion from the show, Mr Tate said the video had been edited, calling it “a total lie trying to make me look bad”.

He went on to gain notoriety online, with Twitter banning him for saying women should “bear responsibility” for being sexually assaulted.

Mr Tate has been banned from social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, with TikTok also removing him, saying “misogyny is a hateful ideology that is not tolerated”.

He had been banned from Twitter but was recently allowed back onto the platform following Elon Musk’s takeover.

His posts on other online sites promote misogyny and target women and have millions of views, with the BBC’s disinformation and social media correspondent Marianna Spring saying earlier this year that his content had “raised concerns about the real-world effect it could have”.

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