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Aleksei Kunitcyn (left) and Roma Kotenlikov at the airport on Friday
Aleksei Kunitcyn (left) and Roma Kotenlikov at the airport on Friday. Photo supplied

Polonsky associates sent packing: official

Three employees of deported Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky were deported yesterday, an immigration official said.

Uk Heiseila, head of investigations and procedure at the General Department of Immigration, said Russian nationals Roma Kotenlikov and Aleksei Kunitcyn were arrested on May 16 after showing up at the department’s office in Phnom Penh in an attempt to “liberate” Polonsky.

“One of the men went inside our office and pretended to be Polonsky’s lawyer,” he said, adding that the second man stayed in their car with the engine running.

Authorities grew suspicious, he said, when the men stayed parked outside the building after the first man returned to the vehicle. The incident prompted the authorities to delay Polonsky’s deportation by one day, he added. Umar Acharkov, a Polonsky associate arrested alongside his employer on May 15, was also deported yesterday.

One Russian, two Ukrainians and one Latvian remain in Immigration Department detention pending deportation. Although all but the Russian national have valid visas, Heiseila said they would be cancelled for “security reasons”.

Once one of Russia’s richest men, Polonsky was wanted in Russia for allegedly embezzling more than $170 million from real estate investors and was placed on Interpol’s watchlist in 2013. Although Cambodia had refused to extradite him, he was deported to Russia this week for not having a valid visa.

Polonsky, who claimed to own or co-own eight islands off the coast of Sihanoukville, repeatedly told the Post prior to his deportation that he planned to invest $1 billion in developing tourist infrastructure in Cambodia.

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