Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Exploding car not a hit: Sihanoukville cops

Exploding car not a hit: Sihanoukville cops

Exploding car not a hit: Sihanoukville cops

When a white Range Rover belonging to the Sihanoukville-based Doroshenko clan burst into flames in the small hours of March 13, the family was quick to blame their arch-enemy, then-fugitive Russian developer Sergei Polonsky.

Ostap Doroshenko, son of longtime area businessman Nikolai Doroshenko and a captain in the local police force, said Polonsky had ordered hit men to execute a failed attack.

But following a four-month investigation, Cambodian police have concluded the car blew up on its own.

“Based on [Ostap’s] testimony and witnesses, the court found there was no one who burned the car, but that it was caused by an electric transmission [failure] in the car’s engine,” said provincial police chief Kol Phally yesterday, adding that the wrecked car was returned to Ostap.

The incident was one of several alleged assassination and intimidation attempts the Doroshenkos claimed Polonsky – a former business partner with whom they were embroiled in a tangle of property disputes – ordered.

Back then, Polonsky, who was deported to Russia to face embezzlement charges in May, denied the accusations.

Ostap could not be reached for comment.

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