Why is Andrew Tate in Jail?
Andrew Tate detained in Romania over rape and human trafficking case
Controversial online influencer Andrew Tate has been detained in Romania as part of a human trafficking and rape investigation.
Tate - who was detained alongside his brother Tristan - had his house raided in the capital, Bucharest.
A police spokesperson confirmed the arrests to the BBC.
The former kickboxer rose to fame in 2016 when he was removed from British TV show Big Brother over a video which appeared to show him attacking a woman.
He went on to gain notoriety online, with Twitter banning him for saying women should "bear responsibility" for being sexually assaulted. He has since been reinstated.
Despite social media bans he gained popularity, particularly among young men, by promoting an ultra-masculine, ultra-luxurious lifestyle.
He regularly appeared in videos with a fleet of expensive sports cars, on private jets, and enjoying expensive holidays.
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Speaking to the BBC, a spokesperson for the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) said prosecutors had applied to hold the influencer at a "detention centre" for an additional 30 days.
A judge will rule on the application on Friday, the spokesperson added. The brothers have been under investigation since April alongside two Romanian nationals.
During the detention hearing, the two brothers maintained their right to silence, their lawyer told the BBC.
"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," DIICOT said in a statement.
Video on social media showed Tate and his brother being led away from a luxury villa.
A spokesperson for Tate told the Daily Mirror that he could not provide details relating to the arrest. "However, Andrew and Tristan Tate have the utmost respect for the Romanian authorities and will always assist and help in any way they can," he added.
Later, a tweet was sent from Andrew Tate's Twitter account alluding to the 1999 movie The Matrix, a film he regularly refers to in his posts.
"The Matrix sent their agents," the post said. The account also retweeted Matrix memes posted by Twitter owner Elon Musk.
On Thursday night, Romania's Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism issued a statement, but did not name the Tate brothers, stating that two British citizens and two Romanian citizens were suspected of being part of a human trafficking group.
The statement said officers had identified six people who were "sexually exploited" by what it called an "organised criminal group".
Police alleged the victims were "recruited" by the British citizens, who they said had misrepresented their intention to enter into a relationship with the victims - which it called "the loverboy method".
They were later forced to perform in pornographic content under threat of violence, the statement said.
Police also released a video of the raid, showing guns, knives, and money on display in one room.
Tate moved to Romania five years ago. Rumours swirled online that police were tipped off to Tate's presence in the country when he posted a video taking aim at the environmental activist Greta Thunberg.
In the footage he posted, he was handed a pizza box from a local restaurant, which some users suggested had inadvertently revealed his location.
However, the pizza box is not thought to be relevant.
The row with the activist began earlier this week when Tate, 36, tagged the 19-year-old in a post boasting about the "enormous emissions" produced by his fleet of cars.
Following the arrest, she tweeted "this is what happens when you don't recycle your pizza boxes," referring to the online rumour.
Prior to his worldwide notoriety, Tate - a British citizen who was born in the US - fought professionally as a kickboxer and won world titles.
In 2016, he entered the Big Brother house but was soon removed after a video appeared to show him hitting a woman with a belt.
At the time of his expulsion, Tate said the video had been edited, calling it "a total lie trying to make me look bad".
Mr Tate has been banned from social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, with TikTok also removing him, saying "misogyny is a hateful ideology that is not tolerated".
He had been banned from Twitter but was recently allowed back onto the platform following Elon Musk's takeover.
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