Controversial internet personality Andrew Tate and his brother were arrested in Romania on Thursday, according to their lawyer.
Romanian authorities said police issued search warrants at five homes and detained four suspects, including two British and two Romanians, in an investigation into organized human trafficking and rape. They did not name any of the detainees.
A lawyer for Andrew and Tristan Tate told CNN the brothers are due in court later Friday. He pointed out that Andrew Tate was not under arrest. “He was not arrested. He was detained for 24 hours,” lawyer Eugen Vidineac said.
The attorney did not discuss any of the allegations.
Romania’s Directorate for Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigations (DIICOT) released an edited, grainy, sometimes blurry video purporting to show the raids. A man can be seen being searched by police. It is not known who is detained in the video.
In a separate video released by CNN affiliate Antena 3, DIICOT officers can be seen escorting Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan Tate into police vehicles.
On Friday, Andrew Tate tweeted from his verified account, “The Matrix sent their agents.”
The DIICOT alleged that the four unnamed suspects formed an organized criminal group that stretched from Romania to Britain and the United States, with the aim of committing the crime of human trafficking.
Authorities allege that two of the suspects misled the victims “into believing that they intended to enter into a marriage/cohabitation relationship” while transporting the victims to Romania and subsequently sexually exploiting them with physical violence and coercion.
Authorities also said one of the suspects raped a victim twice in March 2022. At least six victims were allegedly “sexually exploited by the organized crime group,” according to the DIICOT statement.
The four suspects would be held for 24 hours after being questioned, according to DIICOT on Thursday.
Tate, a former professional kickboxer, is known for his viral online rants about male dominance, female submission and wealth. He openly advocates violence against women and had previously been banned from all major social media platforms until Elon Musk reinstated his Twitter account after taking over the business.
He rose to prominence earlier this year, with many adults, including teachers, worrying about his misogynistic ideas taking root in the minds of countless young boys. Prior to its deletion, his TikTok account had racked up around 11.6 billion views.
He made headlines this week for a Twitter interaction with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who told Tate to have a life after tweeting about his many cars “and their respective huge emissions”.