Right-wing influencer Andrew Tate was arrested at his home in Piperia, Romania on human trafficking and rape charges after local authorities were tipped off by Tate's response video to environmentalist Greta Thunberg on Twitter, according to the Romanian publication Gândul.
Tate and his brother Tristan were arrested at Tate's private villa; police officers also arrested a former policewoman whose involvement had been suspected for some time.
All three are in the custody of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DICOT), a Romanian agency tasked with investigating and prosecuting organized crime and terrorism-related offenses.
Authorities were able to ascertain Tate's location when he posted a response video to Thunberg after she shut down his request for her email address while bragging about his car collection's "enormous emissions" with the following response:
"Yes, please enlighten me."
"Email me at email@example.com."
Tate later uploaded his video and mocked Thunberg for having a "small penis" though he could not have known authorities would be able to find his location because he unwittingly displayed a pizza box from a local Romanian pizza chain.
You can see Tate's video below.
Tate is accused of "forming an organized criminal group that used girls for adult videos," and DICOT said its officers raided five homes tied to four suspects who sequestered at least six women captive in houses in the Bucharest metropolitan area.
The women were sexually assaulted and forced to produce pornographic videos while in captivity.
Tate's arrest comes months after his home was first raided by DICOT agents after the United States embassy alerted them an American woman might be held at the property.
In April 2022, investigators discovered two women on the property who claimed they were being held there against their will, kicking off an investigation into possible human trafficking and rape. The Tate brothers were released after several hours of questioning and Tate denied any wrongdoing.
The news of Tate's arrest—and the circumstances that led to it—made him the subject of both heated criticism and mockery online.
Thunberg returned with the perfect follow-up tweet:
Tate rose to fame as a professional kickboxer but eventually began to make headlines for his homophobic, racist and misogynist comments on Twitter.
He came under fire for his tweets describing his view of what qualifies as sexual harassment amid the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse cases and for tweeting several statements about his view sexual assault victims share responsibility for their assaults.
Tate has described himself as "absolutely a sexist" and "absolutely a misogynist" upon rising to fame in right-wing circles following appearances on shows like Infowars, which is run by the noted conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Tate's social media presence has been criticized by anti-extremism advocacy groups that have expressed concerns about how he has stoked misogyny among the far-right, particularly for expressing his belief that women are "given to the man and belong to the man" and his claim that men prefer dating teenage girls because they are likely to have had sex with fewer men, though he later attempted to walk back his remarks.