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Thailand Agrees to Extradite Former Russian Official Sought On Corruption Charges

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Vasily Smolnikov was detained by Thai police on behalf of Interpol.

Vasily Smolnikov was detained by Thai police on behalf of Interpol.

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BANGKOK – Russia’s embassy in Thailand says Thai authorities have agreed to extradite a Russian businessman and local lawmaker from Russia’s Khakassia Republic who is sought on corruption charges.

The embassy said on August 28 that Thailand has confirmed that Russian citizen Vasily Smolnikov would be sent back to Russia in late September to face criminal charges of large-scale embezzlement and attempting to bribe a public official.

Smolnikov, a member of the city council of Chernogorsk, is the founder of the Chernogorskotdelstroy Company — a firm contracted to rebuild houses in the village of Shira in Khakassia that had been damaged by fire in April 2015.

Russian investigators allege that Smolnikov embezzled funds allocated under that contract and fled the country.

Smolnikov was detained by immigration police in Thailand at the request of Russian authorities after he was charged in absentia by a local court in Chernogorsk in February and put on an international wanted list.

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