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Cambodia Extradites Tycoon Polonsky to Russia

Sergei Polonsky

Russian former real estate tycoon Sergei Polonsky was deported to Russia Sunday after being arrested Friday on charges that he had overstayed his visa in Cambodia, Russia’s Interior Ministry said.

Polonsky is wanted in Russia on suspicion of stealing more than $100 million from shareholders in a Moscow residential development project.

“Polonsky has been deported to the territory of the Russian Federation and will be prosecuted in accordance with Russian law,” a statement posted to the Interior Ministry's website said Sunday.  

Slavik Brsoyan, a member of Polonsky's legal defense team, confirmed to news agency Reuters on Sunday that Polonsky was en route to Russia. He said that the tycoon, whose wealth was once estimated at $1.2 billion, was not guilty of the charges leveled against him.  

Russia had been leaning on Cambodia to deport Polonsky to Moscow after Cambodia's Supreme Court in April 2014 rejected an extradition request by Russia's Prosecutor General's Office in November 2013 on the grounds that the two sides do not have an extradition treaty.

Although Cambodia refused to extradite Polonsky, he has not endeared himself to local authorities.

In December 2012 he was arrested for locking up a group of Cambodian sailors in the hold of his luxury yacht. After spending three months in a Cambodian prison, Polonsky reached a financial settlement with the sailors and was released.

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