Social media influencer Andrew Tate, who is notorious for making controversial and misogynistic statements online, has apparently been a subject of a human trafficking, rape and organized crime investigation.
Andrew, his brother Tristan Tate and two other others were nabbed and detained in Romania Thursday for being “reasonably suspected” of criminal activity, The Verge reported, citing a statement issued by the country’s Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT).
“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 specialized websites for a cost,” prosecutors said, as per Reuters.
“They would have gained important sums of money,” they added.
Investigators also found six women, believed to have been exploited by the accused men.
The investigation into the Tate brothers and the two Romanian nationals first began in April, just a few years after the brothers moved to Romania in 2017.
Andrew once explained in a video that he moved to Romania because it would make it easier to get away with rape charges.
That is “probably 40% of the reason,” he said, according to The Guardian.
“I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want. I like being free,” he continued.
Andrew’s villa was raided in April this year after investigators believed that two young women, a Romanian and one with American citizenship, were being held against their will at the Tate brothers’ residence. The women were suffering physical violence and mental coercion at the time, New York Post reported.
Police questioned Andrew and his brother for five hours on April 11. Although the brothers were eventually released, officials said the investigation was ongoing.
Tristan later denied the allegations that two young women were being held against their will in their house, saying, “No girls were found in my house, and nobody was arrested.”
The two brothers also reportedly scoffed about the raid on their podcast while giving their account.
“A girl had been at a party at my house, and her boyfriend saw her Instagram stories,” Tristan claimed, according to The Tab.
“He then calls the f—ing police and says my girlfriend is being held against her will by the Tate brothers. The police calls the American embassy, and the next day the police come to our house,” Tristan added.
Earlier this year, Andrew and his brother admitted to running a “big scam” that involved a webcam studio, where women sold “sob stories” to unsuspecting men.
The men reportedly paid up to $4 a minute to talk to lingerie-clad models, and the Tate brothers profited from the business.
After Andrew and his brother were busted for sex-trafficking allegations in Romania Thursday, prosecutors said they would be detained for 24 hours along with the two Romanian suspects.