Fugitive Russian Tycoon Leaves Israel, Heads to Cambodia

BANGKOK, August 16 (RIA Novosti) – Fugitive Russian real estate tycoon Sergei Polonsky has left Israel out of fears for his safety and is now heading to Cambodia, his lawyers said on Friday.

Polonsky travelled to Israel earlier this year and sought the country’s citizenship. He is wanted in Russia in connection with the embezzlement of over 5.7 billion rubles ($176.2 million) from private investors in Moscow’s Kutuzovskaya Milya residential construction project. A Moscow court issued an arrest warrant for him on Tuesday.

His lawyer Diana Tatosova said the businessman “had left Israel because a threat to his security emerged,” adding that his citizenship request is still being considered by the Israeli authorities.

The lawyer said in July that that Polonsky’s citizenship request was unconnected with the case against him in Russia. Later that month, the businessman published an open letter saying he was “not seeking to evade” justice and that he had been the victim of theft rather than being involved in fraud.

Russia is not the only country where Polonsky has run into problems with the law. He was arrested in Cambodia in December last year together with two friends after allegedly attacking the crew of a boat ferrying the three men from a Cambodian island to a nearby resort city. Cambodian justice authorities released him on bail earlier this year and allowed him to travel to Israel for medical treatment.

Polonsky’s Cambodian lawyer, speaking to RIA Novosti by phone from the resort city of Sihanoukville, said on Friday evening that the businessman has already arrived to the Thai capital Bangkok and is now on his way to Cambodia.

“Sergei’s friends told me that he would arrive to Cambodia tomorrow [on Saturday],” the lawyer said. “I have absolutely no idea of how and with what papers he travels. His passport is still with the police of Sihanoukville.”


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