Max Polyakov, an oligarch from Ukraine and his covert porn empire

Maxim Polyakov built an Empire on camgirls

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Right now, while you are reading this text, hundreds of Ukrainian young women are undressing in front of webcams, writing sweet words to foreigners or appointing meetings that they will never come to. This is a serious global business. Who runs a huge system of pumping money out of online porn industry? Another reason for pride of Zaporozhye: our fellow countryman, wealthy IT entrepreneur of Ukrainian origin, who earned millions of dollars on dates, sex and flirting on the Internet, is the one who is at the helm.

Ukraine has been considered one of the world’s sex tourism centres for many years now. Since the 90s, our country has been the leader in terms of prostitution, pornography, online dating services and wedding agencies for foreigners. Zaporozhye is one of the country’s unspoken capitals of online porn, along with other cities of Southern Ukraine: Dnipro, Nikolaev, Mariupol, Kherson, Odessa.

In September, Zaporozhye law enforcers closed three online porn studios. A few months earlier three more studios shut down in Dnipro. The police says those organizations were engaged in distribution of pornographic video and photo products on the Internet. In fact, there were mostly porn video chats, in which Ukrainian young women communicated with foreigners online for money. As a rule, during such communication, the girls need to undress, satisfy the desires of the interlocutors in every possible way and imitate sex.

In recent years, such type of near-pornographic industry has become very popular. Conducting videochat is less costly than shooting porn films, and much it is safer for the organizers of video studios.

The law is left behind the online life

Yes, there is article 301 of the Criminal Code, “Import, manufacture and sale of pornographic products”, according to which organizers and participants of online chats are held to account today. But it works primarily with the physical carriers of information that are now leaving in the past. It is now used to capture people who post photos with their naked bodies on dating sites.

And proving the production and marketing of porn products online, without recording, is almost impossible in Ukraine today. It is even more difficult to prove the organized activity on the work of such studios, when bringing the case to court. Police regularly post press releases on another shut down “online brothel,” as they call it. But only indictments on “loners” come to court. And the studios quietly “fight” with the help of lawyers at the stage of pre-trial investigation.

For example, we have made a selection in the judicial register – sentences under Article 301 of the Criminal Code issued by the courts of the Zaporozhye region since the beginning of 2016. 5 out of 15 sentences were imposed for placing “static” materials, in the form of photos, on dating sites. Seven people were convicted for posting on porn sites, two for transferring pornographic information through file sharing. And, as a relic of the passing era, one citizen was caught selling DVD-R with illegal content.

“Stream” or record of stream does not appear anywhere, as proof of guilt. Therefore, the Internet is constantly full of hundreds of vacancies to hire web models to communicate in video chat. Such job is quite popular among students and young girls from the province: the work does not require special skills, it allows you to adjust the schedule for yourself and brings good money. At the same time, access to most of these sites with porn chat is blocked in Ukraine, and the likelihood that such profession may be accidentally identified by relatives or friends is close to zero.

How it works

There is a lot of articles on the moral aspect of the issue on the Internet. There is much less information about those who own porn video chats, about sites where Ukrainian girls work and why in Ukraine most of such studios function in Zaporozhye and Dnipro. But of course, there are traces: the business that involves thousands of people can not be completely invisible.

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We managed to talk to a girl who worked as a web-model for several years. Anastasia (the name was changed) says that two years ago there were about 20 video chat studios in Zaporozhye. Every year this figure grows. The girl claims that often this job finds you. The owners and managers of video chat regularly monitor social networks in search of young girls and offer them easy money. Another way is ads in social networks and on job search sites. But when one got into this business, getting out of it is not easy. Going to police with an indictment is also not an option. The administrators of studios record chats and in case of conflict with web models they threaten to send videos to friends and relatives, and to publish them on porn sites and make the girls notorious. That is the girls do not like to talk about their profession with journalists. Anastasia said that she worked in the office on Lenin Avenue (Soborny Ave, ed.) next to the Festival Square. She and a few more girls spent 8 hours a day chatting on firecams.com. Anastasia’s friend worked on the same site, but from the office on Potochna St. It was possible to make 100 to 200 US dollars a day. The total income of the studio for one day (chats operate 24/7) reached 3 000 – 4 000 dollars.

The site Firecams, like most porn video chats, is blocked in Ukraine and is targeted at the countries of the European Union and the United States. We had to use the American IP-address to get to the site.

In the footer of the site there is information about the owner of the resource: «©Copyright 2017, Bulova Invest Ltd. All Rights Reserved. FireCams is a service mark of Bulova Invest Ltd.».

The company is registered in the British Virgin Islands at 3076 Sir Francis Drake’S Highway, P.o.box 3463, Road Town, Tortola. The official site of the company reports that Bulova is engaged in the development and support of dating sites in different countries.

Among dating websites of the company Bulova there are projects Amissexy, IAmNaughty and UpForIt. The latter two are part of Together Networks, a company headquartered in Malta.

Together Networks is a large network of dating sites. All the holding’s resources are focused on the European and American users. In Ukraine, they are not available. At the same time, the company is very close to Ukraine.  Together Networks is the successor to Cupid plc. and belongs to a native of Zaporozhye, and now American-British businessman Max Polyakov .

Hugh Hefner of Zaporozhye

Maxim Polyakov or Max Polyakov (not to be confused with people’s deputy) is a famous businessman, the hero of the articles of the Ukrainian Forbes, an employer for several hundred Ukrainian IT experts. Starting as obstetrician-gynecologist in Zaporozhye and medical equipment dealer, in 2001 he founded the outsourcing company AlarIT and irretrievably went into the online business. In early 2000s he had already understood the full potential of dating sites and began to dig in in this direction very fast. Polyakov left Ukraine in 2004. For a long time he lived in the UK, where, together with partner Bill Dobbie, he developed Cupid plc. Initially, the company was called EasyDate plc., but it was renamed due to a complaint of copyright infringement.

In 2013, the company’s shares collapsed due to a scandal in the media, and Polyakov sold the Cupid assets to several offshore companies: Grendall Investment Limited, Tradax IP Licensing, Together Networks Holdings and Together Networks. Later it turned out that the ultimate beneficiary of all transactions is Polyakov himself. This scheme allowed him to squeeze Polyakov’s business partner Bill Dobbie out of business and re-register all dating sites on the new legal entities.

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Polyakov moved to the United States and opened the company Noosphere Ventures, which is engaged in the search and development of technological start-ups. On the Internet people write that the company works at a loss, but continues to finance projects.  Sources of funds are not disclosed .

Since then there was practically no news about the successors of Cupid plc., but companies, including Together Networks, continue to work successfully in the US and European markets. Despite the offshore registration and declaring offices around the world, most of company’s employees are in Ukraine. This is evidenced by the company’s profile in the social network LinkedIn.

Officially Together are represented by only two companies Networks in Ukraine: Private enterprise Easy Date Ukraine and individual entrepreneur Easy Date Dnipro. According to the The United State Register of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs and Public Organizations of Ukraine, the companies are registered in Zaporozhye and Dnipro, respectively.

Private enterprise Easy Date Ukraine is registered at Zaporozhye, Metallurgov Ave., 2 since July 1, 2016. Before that the enterprise was registered on Lenin Avenue 131-B. In 2015, Easy Date Ukraine appeared in the criminal case on the distribution of pornography. Further, there is the extract from the register of court decisions in case No. 335/6605/15-к 1-кс / 335/3391/2015:

“On January 10, 2015, the Ordzhonikidzevsky District Police of the Interior Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Zaporozhye region received a report from the employees of the Office of Combating Cybercrime of the Interior Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Zaporozhye oblast that, by monitoring the Internet access network and as a result of operational measures, it was established that residents of Zaporozhye and Zaporozhye region place pornographic photos and videos on the Internet resources: http://porevo.info, http://www.meendo.net, http://www.maf.ru and they are freely accessible.

During the pre-trial investigation, it was established that using computer equipment installed in the office space located at the address: Zaporozhye, Lenin Ave., 131-B, PERSON_2 conducts the administration of the questionnaire INFORMATION_3 carried out at the Internet address INFORMATION_2, which is accompanied by the dissemination of pornographic subjects.
According to the certificate from the State Register of Real Property Rights No. 39581821 dated June 24, 2015, the real estate object located at the following address: Zaporozhye, Lenin Avenue, 131 – B, on the right of private ownership belongs to individual entrepreneur “Easy Date Ukraine”.

This office on Lenin, 131-B is near Ukrpochta and the Festival Square. That is the same area that our interlocutor worked as a web model in porn chat. The porn chat itself, through Bulova invest Ltd, was linked to Max Polyakov’s Together Networks company. So how exactly does Together Networks earn? Nominally it is dating, but in fact, the tracks are leading to online porn, modestly called “video chats”. Everything is logical: the owner of a dating site, which earns only on advertising, will never become a millionaire. But if he has an adjacent porn business, the dating site becomes a traffic generator that is immediately monetized through porn sites, webcams, sex services, and more.

Max Polyakov’s friends are politicians of local and all-Ukrainian significance: for example, Maxim Krippa is said to be his partner. Naturally, when having such a business, one must be friends with the forces of law and order and those who are in power. Such friendship is the best guarantee that foreigners will receive a hot video chat, Ukrainian girls will earnup to $ 1000 a month, and businessmen will get their profits. Sounds good for everyone. The only thing that is unclear: if everything works so well and everyone is happy, why prostitution is still not legalized in Ukraine?

© 2017, micetimes.asia. All rights reserved

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