(CNN) – Controversial internet personality Andrew Tate and his brother were arrested Thursday in Romania, according to their lawyer.
Romanian authorities said police executed search warrants at five homes and arrested four suspects — two British and two Romanians — in an investigation into organized human trafficking and rape. They did not name any of those arrested.
The Romanian Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) said the four suspects were detained for an initial 24-hour period. He asked a Bucharest court on Friday to extend the bans to 30 days, according to Reuters.
An attorney for Andrew and his brother Tristan Tate confirmed to CNN that a hearing is scheduled for Friday. He stressed that Andrew Tate was not under arrest. “He has not been arrested. He was detained for 24 hours,” said lawyer Eugen Vidineac.
The attorney did not discuss any of the charges.
DIICOT released an edited, grainy, sometimes blurry video purporting to show the raids. A man is seen being searched by the police. It is not known who is banned in the video.
In a separate video released by CNN affiliate Antena 3, crime agency agents can be seen escorting Andrew and Tristan Tate to police vehicles.
On Friday, Andrew Tate tweeted from his verified account, “Matrix sent their agents.”
DIICOT alleged that the four unidentified suspects formed an organized criminal group that stretched from Romania to Britain and the United States, with the intention of committing the crime of human trafficking.
Authorities allege that two of the suspects tricked the victims “into believing they intended to enter into a marriage/cohabitation relationship” while transporting the victims to Romania and then sexually exploiting them with physical violence and coercion.
Authorities also said one of the suspects raped a victim twice in March 2022. At least six victims are alleged to have been “sexually exploited by the organized crime group,” according to the DIICOT statement.
Andrew Tate, a former professional kickboxer, is known for his viral comments on the Internet about male dominance, female subjugation and wealth. He openly advocates violence against women and was previously banned from all major social media platforms until Elon Musk reinstated his Twitter account after taking over the business.
He rose to prominence earlier this year, with many adults, including teachers, worried about his misogynistic ideas taking root in the minds of countless young boys. Before the deletion, his TikTok account had collected around 11.6 billion views.
He made headlines this week for a Twitter interaction with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who told Tate to get a life after tweeting about his many cars “and their corresponding huge emissions”.
There was speculation online that authorities were alerted to Tate’s presence in Romania by the appearance of a distinctive pizza box in one of the photos he posted during his spat with Thunberg.
But according to Reuters, a DIICOT spokesman said the pizza boxes played no role in the bans.
Copyright 2022 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.
Join our newsletter for the latest news straight to your inbox