Cambodia deports Russian tycoon in €140m row
Published 18/05/2015 | 02:30
Cambodian authorities have deported a fugitive Russian tycoon wanted for embezzling €140m in Moscow property deals.
Sergei Polonsky, the Russian businessman best known in Britain for being punched in the face by 'Independent' and 'Evening Standard' proprietor Alexander Lebedev, was arrested by Cambodian military police on Friday evening.
Photographs showed a sunburnt Mr Polonsky (42) being escorted away in shorts and flip-flops after he was detained in the town of Sihanoukville.
Ouk Hey Sela, a Cambodian immigration official, said Mr Polonsky had been put on a flight to Moscow via Vietnam with Russian officials on Sunday morning.
Mr Polonsky has been an effective fugitive in the country since he was charged in Russia with embezzling 5.7 billion roubles (€140m) from 80 property investors in June 2013.
He was originally arrested in November 2013, after Interpol placed him on its "red list" of top fugitives wanted on charges of massive fraud.
On that occasion he led Cambodian police on a dramatic chase in which he escaped from his island residence by swimming before hiding out in the jungle.
In April 2014, Cambodia's highest court ruled that Mr Polonsky could not be sent back to Russia because the two countries had no extradition treaty.
After that ruling, he told reporters that he was innocent of the embezzlement charges and that the case against him was an attempt to gain control of his holdings.
Mr Polonsky gained notoriety in Cambodia in 2013 for allegedly taking six Cambodian seamen hostage and locking them in the hold of their yacht, before forcing them to jump overboard after an argument on a New Year's Eve outing.
He was on bail for that alleged assault when he made his jungle escape bid. (© Daily Telegraph, London)