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Fugitive Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky is arrested Friday in Sihanoukville.
Fugitive Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky is arrested Friday in Sihanoukville.

Polonsky deported to Russia

Fugitive tycoon Sergei Polonsky was deported back to Russia on Sunday morning, where he is wanted on charges of large-scale fraud, police have said.

Uk Heisela, director of the General Department of Immigration’s investigations department, said Polonsky arrived in Ho Chi Minh City at about 7:20am. From there, he will be flown straight to Moscow.

“We sent him alone,” Heisela said. “Other Russians are having their [immigration] documents verified and are still being held at the Immigration Department, but they will also be deported later.”

Polonsky was arrested by military police along with five others on the Preah Sihanouk island of Koh Damlong on Friday afternoon on claims he was living on an expired visa, a charge his lawyers have denied.

He was escorted by military helicopter to Phnom Penh immediately after his arrest.

On Saturday afternoon, security forces searched the tycoon’s private resort island of Koh Dek Koul and detained more than 20 of his staff.

Fifteen foreigners and six Cambodians who work for Polonsky were transported back to the mainland on Saturday at about 8pm, according to provincial police chief Choun Narin.

“We were not arresting them, but we tried to help them by bringing them back from the island since there was no longer any way for them to live on the island,” he said.

“There is a child among the 15 foreigners, and one of them [a Russian national] has a forged passport, so we are keeping him in detention. The rest have now left with their friends and families after 10pm last night following two hours of questioning,” he said.

“We found they had tourist visas … except the one who had a fake passport .”

In July 2013, Russia charged Polonsky with embezzlement after it was alleged that he had cheated investors in two large Moscow residential developments out of millions of dollars.

Cambodian courts have on more than one occasion turned down extradition requests from Russia, but in March it was revealed that Russia and Cambodia were working on an extradition treaty, which is expected to be finalised soon.

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