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Online Influencer Andrew Tate Detained on Suspicion of Human Trafficking

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Former British kickboxer and controversial social media star Andrew Tate was detained in Romania together with his brother Tristan Tate on Thursday.

Prosecutors suspect the pair of human trafficking and rape, Reuters has reported.

Tate was photographed in handcuffs while being escorted by Romanian police officers in Bucharest. The brothers’ lawyer confirmed their arrest to the news agency.

Tate has been described as the voice of the ‘manosphere,’ an online community of male influencers that is often accused of spreading toxic masculinity and misogynistic ideas.

“If you put yourself in a position to be raped, you must bear some responsibility. I’m not saying it’s OK you got raped,” Tate tweeted in 2017.

The former kickboxer was banned from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in 2022 for violating community guidelines. He was reinstated on Twitter after Elon Musk took over the company this year.

According to some reports, a video Tate made criticizing Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg helped police to locate him. In a clip posted on Wednesday, Tate appeared eating pizza bought at Romanian restaurant chain Jerry’s Pizza, with its name visible on the box.

“This is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes,” Thunberg tweeted after news broke of Tate’s troubles.

Romania’s law enforcement agency DIICOT said on its website on Thursday that two British and two Romanian nationals were detained on a suspicion of forming an organized criminal group, human trafficking and rape. Without mentioning Tate by name, the agency said prosecutors ordered the four held for 24 hours.

Authorities said the suspects tricked women into believing they wanted relationships with them. The victims were then held on properties outside Bucharest, where they were physically and psychologically abused. They were “forced to engage in pornographic acts with the goal of producing and disseminating such materials on social media platforms,” DIICOT alleged. It added that six victims have been identified so far.

According to the newspaper Libertatea, Romanian police discovered two young women in Tate’s villa in April. The women claimed that Tate and his brother had held them against their will. Police questioned Tate at the time and released him, but the investigation has continued, the paper said.

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