Claims that the pizza boxes in a video posted by ex-kickboxer Andrew Tate led to his and his brother arrest in December have been widely shared online. There is no publicly-available evidence, however, that that is the case. Romanian authorities have denied the allegation and have said that the brothers have been under criminal investigation since April 2022, something that is supported by previous public statements by Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) and media reports.
Social media users claimed the divisive internet character “gave away his location” with the pizza boxes in his clip. Iterations of the claim can be found on Facebook (here), Instagram (here) and Twitter (here)
Andrew Tate, a former professional kickboxer, and his brother Tristan were detained alongside two Romanian suspects in Bucharest on Dec. 29 for an initial 24 hours on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organized crime group. A Romanian court later agreed to a request from prosecutors to extend the brothers’ detention by 30 days, Reuters reported on Dec. 30 (here ). (here )
Days before his detention, Tate and climate activist Greta Thunberg exchanged various tweets after he told her he owned 33 cars with “enormous emissions” (here), to which Thunberg responded by telling him to “get a life.”
On Dec. 28, Tate replied with a video on Twitter in which he asked a person not viewable in the shot to bring him pizza and to make sure the boxes were “not recycled” ( here) (bit.ly/3GzlNdk). For roughly half of the rest of the clip, the brand, and a website address for a Romanian pizza restaurant printed on the boxes were viewable in the shot.
However, there is no publicly-available evidence that Tate’s arrest was made as a result of the pizza boxes. Romanian authorities deny that is the case and have said that the brothers had been under criminal investigation since April, 2022, Reuters reported (here)
AT LEAST A MONTHS-OLD INVESTIGATION
Public statements by DIICOT and media reports dating to April support the existence of an investigation and indicate that Romanian authorities had located properties of the Tate brothers before the pizza-boxes video.
On April 11, Romania’s Gandul newspaper reported that police had conducted a search in a villa identified as property of the brothers. The report includes footage of armed police officers surrounding cars parked near a wall with neon lights that read “Tate” (here)
In a press release dated April 12 (here), the Office of Information and Public Relations within DIICOT stated that in relation to a “criminal investigation in terms of committing the crimes of human trafficking and rape,” house searches were conducted at two buildings in Ilfov county.
“The investigations are being continued by the Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism - Central Structure with the support of BCCO (Romanian Organized Crime Brigade) Bucharest, the criminal investigation being carried out in rem [www.law.cornell.edu/wex/in_rem ],” the office wrote.
In a press release about the arrest of the Tate brothers on Dec. 29 (here), DIICOT included footage of the raid of what appears to be the same property shown in Gandul’s video from April (see neon sign around timestamp 1:22 bit.ly/3vALtQt)
The Daily Beast and Romanian outlet Digi24 also reported about the house searches in April (here) (here)
Reuters previously addressed posts sharing old footage to falsely claim the Tate brothers had been released (here) (here )
No evidence. There is no publicly-available evidence that the pizza boxes in a video published by Andrew Tate revealed his location to the Romanian police. Romanian authorities have denied the allegation and have said that the brothers have been under criminal investigation since April 2022, which is supported by previous public statements from Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) and by media reports.
Correction Jan. 3, 2023: Corrects lead and verdict to say the criminal investigation dates back to April 2022, not April 2021
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