Greta Thunberg makes pizza box quip after Andrew Tate arrested in Romania

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has spoken out following the arrest of the divisive internet personality Andrew Tate amid a Twitter spat between the pair in recent days.

Former professional kickboxer Tate has been detained along with his brother Tristan and two Romanian nationals on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group, authorities have confirmed.

Earlier in the week the controversial figure - banned from many social media platforms for misogynistic comments and hate speech - sparked a war of words with 19-year-old Miss Thunberg.

He shared a picture of himself standing next to a Bugatti and claimed he owned 33 cars, tagging Miss Thunberg as he tweeted: “Please provide your email address so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions”.

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She quipped back - in a post that has since amassed more than 3 million likes and been dubbed by some “the greatest Tweet of all time” - “Yes, please do enlighten me. email me at smalldickenergy@getalife.com.”

Tate responded to Miss Thunberg’s viral tweet with a video of him sitting at a desk wearing a robe and smoking a cigar, in which he says to someone off-camera: “Please bring me pizza, and make sure that these boxes are not recycled.”

He is then handed two boxes that appear to bear the branding of Romanian chain Jerry’s Pizza.

Tate was arrested on Thursday, the evening after the video was posted, with footage circulated widely on social media appearing to show him and his sibling being led away from a luxury villa.

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Following news of his arrest on Friday morning, Miss Thunberg tweeted: “this is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes”.

Speculation has since swirled on social media that the pizza boxes featured in Tate’s video helped authorities trace and arrest him, but these rumours have not been substantiated.

In a cryptic message following his arrest, Tate’s Twitter account posted on Friday morning: “The Matrix sent their agents.”

Tate and the other three people arrested will be detained for 24 hours, prosecutors from Romania’s anti organised-crime unit said in a statement after raiding their properties in Bucharest.

The Tate brothers have been under criminal investigation since April, they said.

“The four suspects ... appear to have created an organised 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,” said prosecutors.

Andrew Tate and Tristan Tate escorted by police officers outside the headquarters of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism in Bucharest on December 29 (REUTERS)
Andrew Tate and Tristan Tate escorted by police officers outside the headquarters of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism in Bucharest on December 29 (REUTERS)

“They would have gained important sums of money.”

Prosecutors said they had found six women who reported being sexually exploited by the suspects.

The Tate brothers declined to comment but their lawyer confirmed they had been detained, said news agency Reuters.

Andrew Tate, born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Luton, has previously said women are partially responsible for being assaulted and that they belong to men.

He first came to prominence when he appeared on TV show Big Brother in 2016, but was removed from the programme after a video surfaced online which appeared to show him attacking a woman with a belt – a clip he claimed had been edited.

He went on to gain notoriety online, with Twitter banning him from the social media platform earlier this year after he said women should “bear responsibility” for being sexually assaulted.

Tate, along with other banned figures including former US president Donald Trump, only recently saw his account restored following Elon Musk’s recent takeover of Twitter.