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MOSCOW, May 17. /TASS/. Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky who was deported to Russian from Cambodia on Sunday has been taken to Moscow’s detention centre number one, known as Matrosskaya Tishina, Elena Alexeyeva, a spokeswoman for the Russian interior ministry, told TASS.
"Polonsky has been taken to detention ward number one. Investigative actions will begin on Monday morning," she said.
Polonsky, who has been on an international wanted list and for the past several years has been living on his island in Cambodia, was deported to Moscow on Sunday evening. A Vietnam Airlines plane with the Russian businessman deported from Vietnam among other passengers landed at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport at about 19:00 Moscow time.
A TASS correspondent reported from the airport that Polonsky had been escorted from the plane to a police van.
Journalists, Polonsky’s lawyers and his wife, Olga Deripaska, were awaiting him at the airport’s arrivals area. His wife said she had brought him warm cloths. She refuted reports that Polonsky’s Cambodian visa had expired. "We extended our visas in November. Both me and he, have valid one-year visas and all allegations that he has violated the sojourn regime are not true," she said.
One of Polonsky’s lawyers, Diana Totosova, told journalists Polonsky’s deportation to Russia was not politically motivated. "I don’t think it is a political decision. It must be the work of Polonsky’s former partner Nikolai Doroshenko,",she said, adding the businessman would soon be interrogated and his status might be changed from that of the accused to a witness. "We have all the chances," she said.
The businessman was arrested on May 15 on his own yacht a few dozen kilometres off the coast of the city of Sihanoukville along with his five assistants. The Interpol issued a wanted notice for Polonsky at the request of Russia’s Interior Ministry. In Russia, the businessman is a defendant in the criminal cases of embezzlement of funds of interest holders in the construction of the Rublyovo Riviera and Kutuzov Mile residential complexes.
A district court in Moscow has charged him in absentia with a large-scale fraud committed by an organized group. The Russian side earlier addressed an inquiry to Cambodia on the entrepreneur’s extradition, but the Cambodian court ruled that Polonsky could not be extradited to Russia, since a criminal case had been opened against him in the country on bodily blows to local citizens.
Last December, the Russian side again sent a request to the Cambodian authorities regarding Polonsky’s extradition.