Andrew Tate and his brother have been arrested and led away in cuffs after their luxury Romanian mansion was raided by police.
The divisive influencer, referred to by his fans as ‘Top G’, and his brother Tristan are being quizzed over human trafficking allegations.
Prosecutors have confirmed Andrew and Tristain are among four detained over an ongoing investigation.
“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,” prosecutors said, according to a Reuters report.
“They would have gained important sums of money.”
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The pair have reportedly been under investigation for the alleged kidnapping of two young women in their villa in the town of Voluntari.
Their home was raided by the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism in Bucharest earlier today.
The brothers were issued warrants in relation to forming an organised criminal group, international human trafficking, and rape.
Pictures and video show the brothers being accompanied out of the house in handcuffs by cops.
Andrew is seen with his hood up as armed police dressed in balaclavas led him away.
Local media reports the home of a former policewoman, suspected of involvement in the alleged trafficking, was also searched and she is being questioned alongside the Tate brothers.
Prosecutors said they were aware of six women who had been allegedly sexually exploited by the suspects.
In April, authorities found two young women, including one American citizen, in a Voluntari villa.
The women alleged they were held against their will by the Tates.
The brothers, who are British citizens, were questioned by DIICOT – Romania’s police, crime, and investigation unit – but released as investigations continued.
At the time, Tate insisted the issues arose from a “swatting incident”.
“I was not arrested. What happened is I suffered from a case of swatting. It’s very popular with people who are large on the internet.
“(Police) turned up, they investigated, they realised nobody was in the house against their will, there was no crime committed … we had to go to the police station for 45 minutes for pieces of paper, we filled them in and we were let go.”
Andrew and his brother Tristan, who have been professional kickboxers, moved to Romania in 2017.
In a deleted video on his YouTube channel, Andrew Tate claimed “40 per cent of the reason” he moved from the UK to Romania was because Romanian police were less likely to pursue rape charges.
“I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want. I like being free,” he said.
Tate’s feud with Greta Thunberg may have tipped off authorities
It comes amid reports Tate’s online feud with Greta Thunberg might have inadvertently tipped off Romanian authorities that he was back in the country.
In a comeback video after the teenage climate activist said he had “small d*** energy”, Tate shared a taunting video featuring a pizza from Romanian chain Jerry’s Pizza.
Sources close to the investigation told local news publication Gandul that anti-mafia prosecutors learned the pair were in Romania through their social media activity.
On Tuesday, Tate took it upon himself to tweet in Thunberg’s direction – boasting of his car collection in a swipe at her environmental crusade.
“I have 33 cars,” he said.
“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.”
After stewing on it for over a day, Thunberg responded late Wednesday night (AEST).
“Yes, please do enlighten me. Email me at email@example.com,” she replied to Tate.
“How dare you?!,” a humiliated Tate later wrote back, mocking her iconic catchphrase.
Tate has amassed a significant following on Twitter since being re-platformed amid the Musk takeover.
The controversial commentator, whose rhetoric is both lauded and rejected en masse, remains banned from YouTube, TikTok, and Meta platforms Facebook and Instagram.
– With Sarah Grealish, The Sun