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Masked Men Take Over Polonsky's Moscow Office

Real estate developer Sergei Polonsky's business center in Moscow has reportedly been taken over by masked men claiming to be security guards of the building's new owner.

Alexander Dobrovinsky, Polonsky's lawyer, told Interfax on Friday that he received a phone call from the CEO of Polonsky's development company complaining that he had been refused entry to the office.

"When I arrived, there were people wearing masks who said they were Alyakhin's guards, the man who allegedly bought the building from Polonsky," the lawyer said.

The conflict apparently stems from a deal Polonsky made in October to sell all his shares in development company Potok to Alexei Alyakhin. Later, however, on Feb. 18, he issued an order to dismiss Alyakhin from his posts due to "business requirements and emerging circumstances," Vedomosti reported Friday.

Alyakhin said that he had not seen such an order and that the final documents had still been signed. He came to an agreement with the company's minority shareholders in 2012.

Sources familiar with the deal said Polonsky would get between $100 million and $200 million for his shares, Vedomosti reported.

But Dobrovinsky said his client "has not received any money for the building."

"We have not seen any documents, and these masked men are just making the situation worse," he said in comments carried by Interfax.

Polonsky has been in jail in the Cambodian city of Sihanoukville since Dec. 31 over accusations of assaulting crew members of a rented yacht and illegally detaining them. He faces three years in prison on those charges.

Polonsky maintains that he and his friends were detained for shooting off fireworks on an uninhabited island and failing to show identification when asked to do so by the military.

He apologized for the incident and in a letter to Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk requested Cambodian citizenship so that he could invest in the country's economy, promising to give millions of dollars to reform the local prison system.

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