MOSCOW, November 11, 14:54 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian officials are awaiting confirmation that police in Cambodia have detained Russian tycoon Sergei Polonsky, wanted in Russia on fraud charges and described by police in the south-east Asian country as a "dangerous special offender".
Prosecutors on November 7 asked Cambodia to extradite businessman Polonsky, accused of stealing 5.7 billion roubles (more than $170 million) from investors in a Moscow housing project. Sources close to the case say he would be held criminally liable in Russia.
Polonsky’s lawyer, Alexander Karabanov, told Itar-Tass from Bangkok of receiving unofficial information that his client had been detained in Cambodia. He spoke of several dozen policemen involved in an operation to hold the wanted man.
"In Cambodian police documents, he is mentioned as ‘dangerous special offender’,” Karabanov said. "Cambodian police activity is connected with the fact that on Sunday, Polonsky posted on the Internet a video showing one of Cambodia's Interior Ministry chiefs extorting $1 million from my client for not having him extradited to Russia,” Karabanov said.
Russia's Interior Ministry press service said “We have not received any information about Polonsky’s detention either through official channels from the authorities of that country or through Interpol channels. We wait for official confirmation.”
A Tass law enforcement agency source said “there has been no official information about Polonsky’s arrest by Cambodian police, adding that “Possibly it will come within the next few days through diplomatic channels.