Support The Moscow Times!

Fugitive Businessman Polonsky 'Captured by Cambodian Police After Hiding in Jungle'

Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky is escorted by Cambodian police officers at a fishing port in the southern coast town of Sihanoukville.

Fugitive businessman Sergei Polonsky was arrested by Cambodian police Monday after his attempts to evade capture in the jungle failed, his lawyer said.

The information about Polonsky's arrest has not yet been officially confirmed, lawyer Alexander Karabanov said.

Television channel Rossiya-24 reported that Polonsky was arrested on Interpol's orders, but Karabanov said that Polonsky's arrest was in fact connected with another case in which he is accused of assaulting Cambodian sailors.

Several dozen Cambodian police began searching for Polonsky at 3 a.m. Moscow time on the businessman's private island. However, Polonsky had been tipped off about the police operation and left the island, disappearing into a jungle on the mainland, Karabanov said.

He said that the Cambodian authorities had stepped up their attempts to capture Polonsky after the businessman posted a video on his LiveJournal blog showing a telephone conversation in which a local police official demanding $1 million from him in return not handing him over to Russia.

A Russian court arrested Polonsky in absentia in September after the businessman was charged with stealing more than $172 million from stakeholders in a residential development project in Moscow. He was then put on an international wanted list by Interpol at Russia's request in mid-October.

Polonsky last week tried to strike up a plea bargain with Russian authorities, offering to return to Russia to give evidence provided he would not be placed into custody, Karabanov said. However, his plea was rejected by the Interior Ministry, which insisted that Polonsky return voluntarily to face questioning in connection with the charges against him. Polonsky was also involved in an on-air scuffle with businessman Alexander Lebedev during a television broadcast in September 2011.

Read more

The need for honest and objective information on Russia is more relevant now than ever before!

To keep our newsroom in Moscow running, we need your support.