Highly controversial online influencer Andrew Tate has reportedly been detained in Romania as part of a human trafficking and rape investigation, a day after he was embroiled in a Twitter spat with climate change social activist Greta Thunberg.
It is reported that Tate was detained alongside his brother, Tristan after his house was raided in the capital Bucharest. In a statement released by The Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism in Romania, they said the arrest was made after carrying out five home search warrants.
The group said the warrants relate to crimes of “constituting an organised criminal group, human trafficking and rape”. The group said: “So far, six injured persons have been identified who were sexually exploited by the organised criminal group.”
Prosecutors reportedly told Reuters the 36-year-old British-American and his brother are being detained for 24 hours alongside two Romanian suspects. They said: “The four suspects appear to have created an organised crime group with the purpose of recruiting, housing and exploiting women by forcing them to create pornographic content meant to be seen on specialised websites for a cost.”
It is also reported that the brothers, who have been under criminal investigation since April, have declined to comment, but their lawyer confirmed they had been detained. The video of the arrest has been widely circulated on social media, as it appears to show Tate and his brother being led away from a luxury villa. Tate reportedly moved to Romania five years ago.
The arrest came a day after Tate was ‘humiliated’ online after his attempt to get back at Thunberg backfired massively following a nasty rebuke from the young climate change activist, who referred to his "small d*** energy" for mocking her on Twitter.
The US-born former kickboxing champion, who was banned across social media platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitch over his ‘misogynistic’ comments earlier this year, was branded “cringe” by many after he responded in video smoking a cigar and boasting about its emissions.
The Twitter spat with Greta Thunberg
On Tuesday morning (December 27), the 36-year-old ex-Big Brother star Tate trolled the teenager for her environmental activism by saying he owns 33 cars, including supercars such as a Bugatti and two Ferraris, accompanied by a picture of him at a fuel station filling up his Bugatti.
He said: “Hello @GretaThunberg. I have 33 cars. My Bugatti has a w16 8.0L quad turbo. My TWO Ferrari 812 competizione have 6.5L v12s. This is just the start. Please provide your email address so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions.”
The following day (December 28) the 19-year-old activist issued a brutal comeback in a tweet to her 5 million followers, saying: “Yes, please do enlighten me. Email me at smalld***[email protected]” Her brilliant response sparked a social media storm and went viral within minutes, garnering over 3 million likes and half a million retweets.
One user joked: “Don’t call yourself a climate activist, Greta, if you have to burn people like that.” Another said: “Hello. Yes, police please. I’d like to report the murder of Andrew Tate.” One wrote: “Immense burn. Thoughts and prayers to Tate’s manhood, or lack thereof. Wake up, men, this is not the hero you are looking for.”
To this, Tate responded directly to Greta, saying: “How dare you??” - in an apparent reference to Thunberg’s speech at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019 where she furiously attacked world leaders for their failure to combat climate change. But it was not until 10 hours later where he came up with a longer comeback.
Tate tweeted: “The world was curious. And I do agree you should get a life (heart emoji).” Along with the tweet, he attached a video of him smoking a cigar dressed in a red robe, in which he boasted about its greenhouse gas emissions after taking a puff.
He said: “I’m obviously a stranger to online controversy, it’s not something I often do. But now the mainstream press is commenting on the fact that I was informing Greta that my very extensive car collection - with internal combustion engines which run on dead dinosaurs, have an enormous emission profile.
“And she responded by telling me her own email address. Greta’s email address is ‘I have small d*** energy’. Why would that be your own email address, Greta? Strange. Also, I don’t want to assume her gender, it’s 50/50. But it is what it is. I’m not actually mad at Greta. Please bring me pizza and make sure these boxes are not recycled.”
Tate rose to popularity as a professional kickboxer, but it is his role as an internet personality that made him a household name. He went on to become a prominent social media influencer who often spouts misogynistic, sexist, and prejudiced opinions. In 2016 he was kicked out of reality TV show Big Brother after a video emerged, apparently showing him hitting a woman with a belt, however, Tate and the woman both said the actions in the video were consensual. .