The controversial British-American internet personality was questioned by Romanian authorities in April.

Andrew Tate, a controversial British-American kickboxer turned internet personality, and his brother have been detained in Romania as part of an investigation into alleged human trafficking.

Tate and his brother Tristian will be held for questioning for up to 24 hours, according to Romanian prosecutors.

Footage broadcast on Romanian television on Thursday night showed Tate, one of the country’s most high-profile and divisive influencers, being led into a police car by armed police.

Romania’s Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigation Directorate did not name any suspects, but said in a statement that four individuals – two British citizens and two Romanian nationals – had formed a criminal group to carry out human trafficking in Romania and other countries, including the UK and the United States.

Investigators identified six alleged victims who had been sexually exploited by the group, which lured the women by expressing interest in a romantic relationship before using physical force, harassment and surveillance to force them to produce pornographic material, the directorate said.

The individuals are being investigated on suspicion of leading an organized crime group, human trafficking and rape, the management said.

In April, the Tate brothers were questioned by Romanian authorities following a tip about an American woman being held against her will, but both were released with no arrests made.

Andrew Tate later said in a YouTube video that he had been “bothered” by someone making a false report and that he was “completely innocent”.

Tate’s detention comes a day after his back and forth on Twitter with climate activist Greta Thunberg exploded on the internet.

Tate, who has garnered billions of views on social media with his videos depicting a lifestyle full of fast cars, exotic locations and beautiful women, has been banned on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for expressing extreme views, including that women bear some responsibility for assault.

Tate’s Twitter is one of a number of controversial accounts that were reinstated after Elon Musk, a self-described free absolutist, bought the platform in October.

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By wy9m6

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