BUCHAREST: A Romanian court on Friday ordered the 30-day detention of controversial influencer Andrew Tate following his arrest for human trafficking, grated and form a criminal group.
Ramona Bolla, spokesperson for the Romanian Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), told AFP on Friday that four suspects had been remanded in custody for 30 days after their arrest on Thursday evening.
They are the former professional kickboxer Tate, of Anglo-American nationality, his brother Tristan and two Romanian citizens.
Tate and his brother were initially held for 24 hours, but prosecutors had asked a Bucharest court to extend the detention of the four suspects as part of their ongoing investigation.
Since the beginning of 2021, the prosecution has been investigating the suspects and had already raided Tate’s villa in April.
The four suspects are said to have recruited and exploited women by forcing them into “forced labour…and pornographic acts in order to produce and disseminate this material” online to “achieve substantial financial benefits”.
Six potential victims have so far been identified.
Romanian police raided five locations across the country as part of their investigation.
Twitter buzz – The move came just days after Tate had a heated exchange on Twitter with Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunbergwho, according to netizens, helped the Romanian police locate and arrest him.
Viral exchanges on Twitter between Tate and Thunberg this week on topics ranging from cars to “huge emissions” to pizza boxes, have fueled speculation on social media.
Some netizens have argued that the brand of pizza featured in a video posted by Tate during his angry exchanges with Thunberg helped police confirm Tate’s presence in Romania.
“This is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes,” Thunberg joked on Twitter after Tate’s arrest.
But DIICOT spokeswoman Bolla told AFP earlier on Friday that “it’s not related”.
“To determine whether or not a person is in the country, we use a whole range of means,” she said, pointing out that “arrest warrants and searches” had already been put in place.
Greta Thunberg’s spokeswoman confirmed to AFP that her tweet this morning – which has so far garnered around 2.4 million likes – was in fact a “joke”.
The Romanian authorities “have not been in contact with her”, added the spokesman.
Tate appeared on the TV show Big Brother in 2016 but was pulled after a video emerged showing him attacking a woman.
He moved to Romania several years ago with his brother.
Tate was banned from numerous social media platforms for misogynistic remarks and hate speech, but was allowed to return to Twitter after Elon Musk bought the company.

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