A Romanian law enforcement agency confirmed that misogynist influencer Andrew Tate has been arrested on human trafficking charges but said one widely reported detail is inaccurate.
Some people had speculated that officials had been tipped off to Tate’s whereabouts by a pizza box seen in a video he made about teen climate activist Greta Thunberg. But DIICOT, Romania’s agency targeting organized crime, told The Associated Press that that wasn’t the case.
“Funny, but no,” DIICOT spokesperson Ramona Bolla told the AP.
Tate and his brother Tristan Tate, both British-U.S. citizens, were detained with two other people on Thursday. The four face charges of human trafficking, rape and being part of an organized crime group.
“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 specialised websites for a cost,” prosecutors said, according to a translation by Reuters.
Tate is a 36-year-old former professional kickboxer and social media personality known for his degrading and sexist comments about women, including saying that women “must bare [sic] some responsibility” for being raped. He has been kicked off multiple social media platforms, but he returned to Twitter last month after the company’s new owner, Elon Musk, reinstated a slew of formerly suspended accounts.
Tate’s return to Twitter is where Greta Thunberg comes in. On Tuesday, he tweeted at the 19-year-old Swedish activist, bragging about his cars and asking her to provide her email address “so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions.”
Thunberg replied, “yes, please do enlighten me. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
In response to the teenager, Tate posted a video in which he wears a robe, smokes a cigar and gets handed two pizza boxes, which he specifies will not be recycled.
News of Tate’s detainment broke shortly after he posted the video, and reports started swirling that his post and the arrest were related. A viral theory emerged that the pizza boxes, which bore the name of Romanian chain Jerry’s Pizza, alerted authorities that he was in the country. That theory appears to have originated with a story from Romanian news outlet Gândul, which cited anonymous sources who said authorities learned via social media posts that the Tate brothers were together in Romania.
However, the Gândul story did not specifically mention the pizza box video, which was far from the only recent post indicating Tate was in the country.
But even if their Twitter spat had nothing to do with Tate’s arrest, Thunberg nevertheless had an additional comment on Friday.
“This is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes,” she wrote.