Controversial British lobbyist Andrew Tate was arrested on Thursday (29/12) in Romania as part of an investigation into rape and human trafficking.
Tate, who was arrested along with his brother, Tristan, had their home raided by police in the capital, Bucharest. The two will be examined from April.
A former kickboxing champion, Tate shot to fame in 2016 when he was evicted from the British version of Big Brother due to a video that appeared to show him assaulting a woman. And he is known for his misguided views.
The night before his arrest, he sparked controversy on Twitter by mocking climate activist Greta Thunberg, who responded with a tweet that went viral.
After the announcement of the arrest, rumors emerged on social media that the contents of the video posted by Tate himself in response to Greta could provide a clue to the police about her location.
It is unlikely, however, that this is the case.
Tate recently returned to Twitter, where she has more than 3 million followers, after being banned from the social network in 2017 for saying women should be “held accountable” for sexual harassment.
Like former US President Donald Trump, he was allowed to activate his account after Elon Musk took the stage.
On Wednesday (28/12), Tate took to Twitter to mock climate activist Greta Thunberg, bragging about the high emissions of his car collection.
“Hi @GretaThunberg, I have 33 cars. My Bugatti has a w16 8.0L quad turbo. My Ferraris 812 Competizione has a 6.5L v12. This is just the beginning. Please give me your email so I can send you a complete list of my car collection and their mass production air,” the former kickboxing champion tweeted.
He posted a tweet accompanied by a photo of himself filling the gas tank of his Bugatti.
The 19-year-old young activist waited a few hours and responded with a viral tweet, which can be translated as:
“Yes, please educate me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org”
Twitter users wasted no time.
“This is the kind of response that will now follow you forever,” wrote one person, while another joked:
“This is Thunberg lowering the global temperature, completely freezing Tate.”
The athlete tried to fight back, posting a surprising response in a two-minute video, in which he smokes, and someone, who is not visible in the picture, gives him two pizza boxes.
“Thank you for confirming via email that you have a small penis @GretaThunberg. The world was curious,” she wrote in a message accompanying the video.
His arrest took place a day after it was published.
The video sparked speculation on social media that its content – which shows two pizza boxes on a table, with the name of a local pizzeria visible – could help police find Tate.
“Romanian authorities needed proof that Andrew Tate was in the country, so they allegedly used his social media posts,” tweeted digital law attorney Alejandra Caraballo of Harvard Law School, sharing a screenshot of a video posted by Tate on Doomsday.
It is not believed, however, that this happened.
Prison in Romania
A British citizen born in the United States, Tate moved to Romania five years ago.
The Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) issued a statement about the arrests, but did not identify Tate and his brother – it said they were two British nationals and two Romanians suspected of being part of a criminal group. focused on human trafficking.
But, according to the Reuters news agency, the lawyer of the brothers confirmed the arrest of the people.
DIICOT also released a video of the police operation, showing guns, knives and cash in a room.
“The four suspects… appear to have formed an organized crime group with the aim of recruiting, harboring and exploiting women, forcing them to create pornographic content intended for viewing on specific websites for a price,” prosecutors said in a statement. According to the Reuters organization.
A video that has gone viral on social media appears to show Tate and her brother being taken from the mansion.
collector of arguments
Before gaining worldwide fame, Tate fought professionally as a kickboxer and won world titles.
In 2016, he joined the Big Brother UK house, but was soon evicted after a video leaked showing him beating a woman with a belt.
At the time of his dismissal from the show, Tate said the video had been edited, calling it “completely false in an attempt to make me look bad”.
He is known for his controversial views, which are often described as misogynistic.
And it was banned from social media platforms besides Twitter—such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and eventually TikTok, which said that “misogyny is a hate ideology that will not be tolerated.”
His posts on other sites promote misogyny and have millions of views.
According to BBC journalist and social media journalist Marianna Spring, her content “raised concerns about the impact it could have in the real world” earlier this year.