Former professional kickboxer and controversial internet personality Andrew Tate was detained in Romania Thursday, along with his brother, the country’s anti-organized crime unit confirmed to CBS News Friday. The unit has asked that what was to be a one-day detention be extended by 30 days.
Reuters and local media outlets were first to report on the detentions.
Romanian prosecutors said in a statement obtained by CBS News that search warrants were carried out in several homes Thursday due to suspicions of “an organized criminal group” involved in “human trafficking and rape.”
The organized crime group was formed by four suspects in early 2021 with “a view to committing” human trafficking in Romania, the U.S. and U.K. in order to “obtain important financial benefits,” prosecutors said.
Six women have been found who were sexually exploited by the organized crime group, according to prosecutors.
Two British nationals and two Romanian citizens were detained, prosecutors said, and brought to the anti-organized crime unit’s Bucharest headquarters.
The British nationals are Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan, the anti-organized crime unit told CBS News.
Once they were interrogated, it was decided they’d be held for 24 hours, prosecutors said.
Then, prosecutors asked on Friday that they be held for another 30 days.
Reuters said this and other photos it obtained show Andrew Tate being escorted out of the anti-organized crime unit’s headquarters Thursday:
Andrew Tate is escorted by police officers outside the headquarters of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) in Bucharest, Romania, on Dec. 29, 2022.
INQUAM PHOTOS / Octav Ganea / REUTERS
“The four suspects … appear to have created an organized crime group with the purpose of recruiting, housing and exploiting women by forcing them to create pornographic content meant to be seen on specialized websites for a cost,” prosecutors said in a statement to Reuters.
The two brothers have been under criminal investigation since April, Reuters said.
Andrew Tate commented on Twitter on Friday, invoking the derisive term he uses to refer to those he thinks control culture and governments, referencing the classic film by the same name:
Andrew Tate, who was born in the U.S. but raised in Britain, is known for spreading hate speech, misogyny and violence. In August, he was banned from both Facebook and Instagram for violating Meta’s policies on dangerous organizations and individuals. He has also been banned from posting to YouTube.
In 2017, he was suspended from Twitter for saying women “bear responsibility” for being sexually assaulted, this as allegations against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein were pouring in. He was reinstated to Twitter last month after Elon Musk took ownership of the company.
Earlier this week, Tate got into a Twitter feud with climate activist Greta Thunberg.
In response to the report about Tate’s arrest, Thunberg tweeted Friday, “this is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes.”