PHNOM PENH – Cambodian Immigration Authorities have deported a fugitive Russian tycoon living illegally in the south-east Asian country after he was accused of embezzling $175m in his homeland.
Accompanied by Russian authorities, Sergei Polonsky was put on a flight to Moscow via Vietnam on Sunday morning, said an immigration official, Ouk Hey Sela.
Reportedly once one of the richest men in Russia, Polonsky has been living on Koh de Koul – one of eight private islands he owns off the coast of Preah Sihanouk province.
The real estate tycoon was charged in Russia in June 2013 with embezzling more than 5.7bn roubles ($175m) from 80 property investors.
Cambodian police first arrested him in November 2013 after he was added to Interpol’s “red list” of top fugitives, but released him on bail a few months later based on a preliminary ruling against his extradition.
In April 2014, Cambodia’s highest court ruled that Polonsky could not be sent back to Russia because the two countries had no extradition treaty. After that ruling, Polonsky said he was innocent of the embezzlement charges and that the case against him was an attempt to gain control of his holdings.
Polonsky first came to public attention in Cambodia in 2012, when he allegedly attacked the crew of a boat after a dispute erupted during a New Year’s Eve outing. He was jailed for more than three months on assault charges before reaching an out-of-court settlement. He went to Israel and later returned to Cambodia.
Cambodian Immigration said Polonksy would not be allowed to return to Cambodia.