WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested by officers from Scotland Yard’s extradition unit.
The 39-year-old Australian was held when he attended a central London police station by appointment.
He is expected to appear before a district judge at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court later.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Officers from the Metropolitan Police Extradition Unit have this morning arrested Julian Assange on behalf of the Swedish authorities on suspicion of rape.
“He is accused by the Swedish authorities of one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape, all alleged to have been committed in August 2010.”
A spokesman for City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court said Mr Assange must appear before 12.30pm, unless a judge gives special permission for a later hearing.
Police contacted Mr Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens on Monday night after receiving a fresh European Arrest Warrant from the Swedish authorities.
The first warrant, issued last month, was not valid as officials had failed to fill in the form properly. Detectives in Sweden want to question Mr Assange after two women claimed they were sexually assaulted when he visited the country in August.
Mr Stephens said his client was keen to discover what allegations he was facing so he could clear his name.
He said: “It’s about time we got to the end of the day and we got some truth, justice and rule of law. Julian Assange has been the one in hot pursuit to vindicate himself to clear his good name.”