The long-running feud between a Sihanoukville-based Russian family and fugitive property tycoon Sergei Polonsky took another dramatic turn yesterday.
At about 4am, a Land Rover parked at the Doroshenko family home exploded.
Ostap Doroshenko, a provincial police captain and the son of Snakehouse hotel and restaurant owner Nikolai Doroshenko, claims Polonsky ordered the “attack”, an allegation the fellow Russian has vehemently denied.
Police have also said there is no evidence pointing to Polonsky’s involvement.
Doroshenko said he was on a trip to Phnom Penh with his father when the explosion occurred, but that Nikolai’s wife was home and alerted them.
By the time the father and son returned, the fire – which left the car a burnt-out wreck – had been extinguished, he added. No one was hurt.
Doroshenko claimed Polonsky had used the same “hit men” that allegedly tried to kill him last November in a street side attack.
“Maybe they [are trying to] make us scared more, maybe to kill my mum or my father,” he said.
According to Doroshenko, the November attackers sent him an encrypted email in January threatening to blow up his Land Rover.
A copy of the email seen by Post Weekend says in Russian: “Die greedy scum Doroshenko. Your Land Rover will explode”. It is unclear who sent it.
Commenting yesterday through his lawyer, Polonksy strongly denied he was behind the alleged attack, even offering to help Doroshenko protect his property.
”This is not a joke. I want him and his property safe when he finally faces the charges in the court. All that he has is basically mine,” he said in a text message.
Provincial police chief Seang Kosal said that there was no evidence to prove Doroshenko’s accusation.
“Police are investigating whether it was caused by a [deliberate] act or an electrical problem,” he said.
He said a security guard had told police no one had come near the car before the explosion.
Additional reporting by Chhay Channyda.