Cambodia deports fugitive Russian tycoon

Phnom Penh: Cambodia deported a fugitive Russian tycoon today who was living illegally in the Southeast Asian country after he was accused of embezzling USD 175 million in his homeland.

Accompanied by Russian authorities, Sergei Polonsky was put on a flight to Moscow via Vietnam early today morning, said immigration official Ouk Hey Sela.

Polonsky was arrested Friday in the southern Cambodian coastal town of Sihanoukville, where authorities said he had been living for two years with an expired visa.

The real estate tycoon was charged in Russia in June 2013 with embezzling more than 5.7 billion rubles (USD 175 million) from 80 property investors.

Cambodian police had 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, he told reporters that 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.

Ouk Hey Sela said Polonksy would not be allowed to return to Cambodia.

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