Suspected of Tax Evasion: German Online Porn King Arrested in Belgium

One of the world's most successful Internet porn magnates has been arrested in Belgium on German tax evasion charges, a prosecutor has said. Fabian Thylmann's empire is reported to include the websites YouPorn, Brazzers and MyDirtyHobby.

A screenshot of one of Thylmann's websites. Zoom
youporn.com

A screenshot of one of Thylmann's websites.

German porn magnate Fabian Thylmann, the creator of the Internet platform YouPorn and other websites that reportedly generate some 16 billion hits per month, has been arrested in Belgium on suspicion of evading taxes in Germany, a spokesman for the Cologne prosecutor's office said Monday.

Thylmann, who lives in Belgium, was arrested last week by Belgian police acting on an arrest warrant issued by a court in Cologne, the office said.

According to a report in the daily Die Welt, police also searched the office of a Hamburg branch of Thylmann's international group of companies. Tax inspectors confiscated a number of computers and files at the company, Manwin Germany GmbH. Thylmann's home in Belgium was also searched.

Thylmann, 34, is in custody awaiting extradition to Germany. He comes from Aachen in western Germany and has built up an online pornography empire in recent years.

Die Welt reported that his group, based in Luxembourg under the holding company Manwin Holding Sarl, comprises more than 35 companies specializing in pornographic Web content.

They operate sites such as Pornhub and Brazzers as well as the German amateur sex site MyDirtyHobby. The firms are registered in Luxembourg, Germany, Canada, Cyprus and Ireland.

Media reports say the business generates hundreds of millions of euros in revenue per year and that its websites are among the most visited in the world.

Thylmann has denied the tax evasion accusations.

cro -- with wire reports

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