Online personality Andrew Tate was detained Thursday by Romanian law enforcement on suspicion of rape, human trafficking, and organized crime. Reports initially appeared to indicate that authorities were able to confirm Tate’s presence in the country because of region-specific pizza boxes featured in a video he sent to far-left climate activist Greta Thunberg.
According to a report from Reuters, despite speculation over the video tipping police off to Tate’s location, an “anti-organised crime unit representative said it was not the case that Tate’s arrest had been made as a result of the pizza boxes.”
Reuters reported that investigators found six women who had allegedly been sexually exploited by Tate, his brother Tristan Tate, and two other men.
“The four suspects … appear to have created an organized 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. “They would have gained important sums of money.”
The women were then allegedly subjected to “physical violence and mental coercion’ and were ‘sexually exploited by group members by forcing them to perform pornographic demonstrations […] for the purpose of producing and disseminating through social media platforms,” the Daily Mail reported.
Semafor suggested that police were tipped off about Tate’s presence in the country after he sent a video on Twitter to Thunberg that contained pizza boxes from a restaurant inside the country.
Andrew Tate’s video in response to Greta Thunberg allowed Romanian authorities to confirm he was in the country, and arrest him in human trafficking investigation, due to the pizza chain shown in the 2-minute rant. pic.twitter.com/RJzwJvZVaP
— Pop Base (@PopBase) December 29, 2022
Tate tweeted at Thunberg earlier this week about his extensive car collection.
“Hello @GretaThunberg,” Tate said. “I have 33 cars. 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.”
“Yes, please do enlighten me,” Thunberg responded. “Email me at smalld***[email protected].”
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) December 28, 2022
Tate responded in a video trolling Thunberg, which contained the pizza boxes.
A spokesperson for Tate told The Daily Mirror: “We cannot provide any details at the moment regarding alleged reports that they have been detained; however, Andrew and Tristan Tate have the utmost respect for the Romanian authorities and will always assist and help in any way they can.”
Tate faced allegations of human trafficking in Romania in April 2022.
However, Tate claimed the accusations stemmed from a swatting incident where authorities accused him and his brother of obtaining large sums of money with which they bought houses, luxury cars, and cryptocurrencies, according to reports.
“I was not arrested,” Tate said. “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 realized 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,” Tate added.
Brandon Drey contributed to this report.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect new information.