human rights internet Personalities and brothers Andrew and Tristan Tate were arrested by Romanian prosecutors on Thursday on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organized criminal group, according to Reuters.
The brothers, who run an adult entertainment camera service, will be held for 24 hours alongside two Romanian suspects, prosecutors from the Organized Crime Unit said in a statement after raiding their properties in Bucharest. , Reuters reports.
“The four suspects … appear to have created an organized criminal group with the purpose of recruiting, harboring and exploiting women by forcing them to create pornographic content for viewing on specialized websites for a fee,” prosecutors said.
When contacted for comment by rolling stone, a spokesman for the Tate brothers said: “We cannot provide any details at this time regarding the alleged reports that they have been detained; However, Andrew and Tristan Tate have the utmost respect for the Romanian authorities and will always help and assist in any way possible.
The Tates – Andrew in particular – have gained popularity online for espousing violent and often misogynistic views on women, sexuality and rape culture. Andrew had a short stint as a professional kickboxer before being asked to star in the 2016 UK version of Big brother. He was eventually expelled. While Andrew remains banned from popular social media sites like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, his Twitter account was recently reinstated when the platform was taken over by Elon Musk. The brothers pose as teachers who want to open people’s eyes to the lies of the government, women and the left-wing media, and are said to have made millions from online courses in thought and cryptocurrency. After several of his bans in August, Andrew said rolling stone in a statement that many of his controversial comments were made in jest and were part of a “character” he described online.
“The media is putting out a fake image of me, over and over, and Instagram bowing to the pressure is a huge disgrace,” Tate said. “Somehow I’m the bad guy, when all my posts were Bible verses and charitable donations.” While Tate says he’s just playing a character, there are thousands of hours of content behind his beliefs. And fake or not, he’s built a financial empire on some pretty harmful takes, a clear contradiction to the “bible verses and charitable giving” he seems to think his content is all about.
The villa was first raided in April 2022, after Romanian police received a report of a woman being held against her will at the house, according to the daily beast. At the time, no arrests were made, but authorities said the investigation was ongoing; police reported finding an American and a Romanian in the villa. At the time, a US State Department spokesman said he was “aware of reports of a US citizen being held against his will in Romania”, but had no further comment. The brothers were not arrested in this incident.
This is not Andrew’s first encounter with the authorities. Before moving to Romania, several other women accused him of abuse, and he implied that he was moving to Romania for his lax approach to law enforcement.
“I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of being able to do whatever I want,” he said in a YouTube video that was deleted when he was banned from the site. “I like to be free.”
The news also comes a day after Tate made headlines for a public feud with multiple Nobel Peace Prize nominee and climate activist Greta Thunberg. Andrew tweeted a list of his luxury cars before asking Thunberg to “please provide your email address so I can send a full list of my car collection and their respective huge shows”. The climate activist replied, “Yes, please enlighten me. Email me at email@example.com. Tate didn’t seem to take the insult well, first responding “How dare you?” before sending the activist a video response 10 hours later, where he made several jokes that didn’t come to fruition, then accused the 19-year-old of being a slave to the ‘matrix’.
No specific charges have been announced against the brothers.