Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Polonsky to ‘fight’ extradition plans

Polonsky to ‘fight’ extradition plans

Sergei Polonsky is escorted by police following his arrest in Preah Sihanouk province
Sergei Polonsky is escorted by police following his arrest in Preah Sihanouk province on Monday. The Russian tycoon was transferred to Phnom Penh yesterday. STRINGER

Polonsky to ‘fight’ extradition plans

An adviser to Russian tycoon Sergei Polonsky said yesterday that the businessman’s legal team will fight his extradition to his homeland, where he is wanted on embezzlement charges.

The adviser, who asked not to be named, said the 40-year-old’s business plans for Cambodia – worth hundreds of millions – would be jeopardised if he was sent back to Moscow following his arrest on Monday.

“Polonsky wants to live in Cambodia forever. He has even built his own stupa on Koh Dek Koul – he will die in Cambodia” the man said, adding that the eccentric tycoon owned as many as eight islands in the Kingdom’s waters. “He wants to develop Cambodia … If he’s sent back, his projects will have problems.”

After Polonsky’s first arrest, in late December, he wrote an open letter to King Norodom Sihamoni outlining his plans to “build a seven-star hotel and a green zone in the archipelago not far from Sihanoukville”.

Government officials contacted yesterday could provide no details of islands other than Koh Dek Koul that Polonsky owned.

Authorities said yesterday they intended to send Polonsky back to Russia to face charges over the $176 million development project, despite an impending court case against him here, stemming from alleged violence at sea in late December.

A statement on the National Police’s website yesterday said that “at the request of the government in Moscow, the suspect … will be sent to Moscow soon”.

Other officials would not confirm when this would happen, but Khieu Sopheak, a Ministry of Interior spokesman, said he hoped the extradition could occur “quickly”.

Y Sok Khy, director of the anti-terrorism police at the Ministry of Interior, said yesterday that arresting Polonsky on Koh Rong – which is close to his own private island – had not been a straightforward task.

“Polonsky knew in advance that we were coming, so he tried to hide and run from us,” he said. “It’s an island, though, so we were pretty sure we were going to catch him.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The