'The Matrix sent their agents'
Andrew Tate, a controversial internet personality and former pro kickboxer, has been arrested in Romania along with his brother, Tristan, and charged with human trafficking and forming an organized crime group, The Washington Post reports.
In a statement, Romania's anti-organized crime agency, DIICOT, said that four suspects, including two British citizens and two Romanians, were arrested on charges of creating an organized crime group and human trafficking. One of the suspects was also charged with rape, though the agency declined to specify who. Romanian prosecutors said they identified six victims who were recruited, then coerced to participate in making pornographic content for social media. The statement alleges that the victims faced "acts of physical violence and mental coercion."
Tate, a British and U.S. citizen, is known for expressing misogynistic views and hate speech that has gotten him banned from multiple social media platforms. He and his brother were reportedly detained in the Ilfov area north of Romania's capital, Bucharest, per The Associated Press. He recently made headlines for engaging in a heated exchange with 19-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg. Speculation spread quickly that the Romanian police were able to locate Tate after he posted a video response to Thunberg featuring a pizza box from a local restaurant. Still, authorities denied that the video played a role in his arrest.
A spokesperson for the Tates declined to confirm if they had been detained. "Andrew and Tristan Tate have the utmost respect for the Romanian authorities and will always assist and help in any way they can," the spokesperson said. In an email, Tate's talent agent noted that the human trafficking allegations were "an orchestrated hoax put on by the matrix," per the Post. A tweet from Tate's account early Friday said: "The Matrix sent their agents."