Social media influencer Andrew Tate has been arrested in Romania on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organized crime group, prosecutors have confirmed.
The 36-year-old British-American and his brother Tristan were arrested in Bucharest and will be held for 24 hours alongside two Romanian suspects, prosecutors in the country have announced.
“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”,
“They would have won large sums of money.”
The brothers, who have been under criminal investigation since April, declined to comment, but their lawyer confirmed they had been detained.
Tate, a former kickboxer, has been banned from various social media platforms for his misogynistic views, hate speech and for running the University Hustlers – a pyramid scheme that claims to teach people how to get rich.
But he is still present on social networks – on TikTok, for example, he was banned from having an account, but the content published under the hashtag Andrew Tate has been viewed billions of times.
He first rose to fame in 2016 for being dropped from reality TV show Big Brother after a video emerged showing him attacking a woman with a belt – he claimed the clip had been edited.
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He suggested that rape victims “bear some responsibility” for being attacked and described women as “property” belonging to men.
He also described how he allegedly violently assaulted a woman for accusing him of cheating, saying he would “hit the machete, jump in her face and grab her by the neck”.
As a result, concerns have been raised about its influence on young people, especially young men.
Tate has denied having misogynistic views and accused his critics of “twisting the facts”, although he has also described himself as the “king of toxic masculinity”.