2 - 3 minute read
Controversial social media influencer Andrew Tate has been arrested in Romania on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group. The 36-year-old British-American and his brother Tristan were detained on Thursday evening along with two Romanian suspects. Prosecutors in the country claim that 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.”
Six people have been identified as having been sexually exploited by the group, which prosecutors say operated in Romania’s Ilfov county. The victims were allegedly recruited by “British citizens misrepresenting their intention to enter into a marriage or cohabitation relationship and the existence of genuine feelings of love”, before being taken to Ilfov county and subjected to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion”.
BREAKING: Andrew Tate and brother Tristan arrested in Romania in human trafficking probe pic.twitter.com/b5eaZrErAb— BNO News (@BNONews) December 29, 2022
Tate, a former kickboxer, was banned from Twitter in 2017 for his misogynistic views and hate speech but reinstated last month. He still has a presence on other social media platforms, including TikTok, where content posted under the hashtag Andrew Tate has been viewed billions of times, despite being banned from having an account.
Tate first rose to fame in 2016 for being removed from the reality TV show Big Brother after a video appeared to show him attacking a woman with a belt – he claimed the clip was edited. He has a history of making controversial statements, including suggesting rape victims “bear some responsibility” for being attacked and describing women as “property” belonging to men.
The arrest of Andrew and Tristan Tate, who have been under criminal investigation since April, has sparked outrage on social media. Many have called for action to be taken against the influencer, with some calling for his content to be removed from platforms. It remains to be seen what the outcome of the investigation will be, but it is clear that the actions of the Tate brothers and their alleged accomplices have caused serious harm to their victims. The case serves as a reminder of the dangers of online exploitation and the need for platforms to take responsibility for the content they host. The Tate brothers, along with their two Romanian accomplices, will be detained for a further 24 hours as the investigation continues.