Andrew Tate, a controversial ex-kickboxer and social media star, has been arrested for allegedly abducting two girls in Romania.
A handcuffed Tate, 36, who rose to prominence this year for his sexist and misogynistic views, was filmed being led from his luxury villa by police following a raid on Thursday. His younger brother Tristan, 34, was also detained, and both men were held in Bucharest for 24 hours.
The Brit, who was born in Washington DC but raised in Luton, is being investigated by the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), and reports in Romania claim he and his brother are being questioned on suspicion of forming an organized crime group that used girls in adult videos.
The siblings were also questioned in April when police reportedly found two girls who claimed they were being held against their will.
The brothers were released while the investigation continued but were detained again on Thursday in connection with an investigation into human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group.
Tate was the most-searched man on the internet earlier this year before being barred from social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as YouTube. Tate’s Twitter account was restored when Elon Musk completed his takeover of the tech giant, and he immediately resumed posting.
He was this week involved in a spat with climate activist Greta Thunberg with Tate boasting of his supercar collection and asking for Thunberg’s email address to “send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions”. Thunberg responded with a tweet that has since become one of the most popular in history, saying: “Yes, please educate me. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Tate is a former kickboxing world champion and has been linked with boxing fights with YouTube brothers Jake and Logan Paul, as well as with their fellow social media star KSI. He also appeared briefly on Celebrity Big Brother before being kicked off after a footage emerged of him allegedly beating a woman. The woman later insisted her relationship with Tate was consensual.