Russian Embassy: Ex-Billionaire Held in Cambodia

MOSCOW, January 4 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Embassy in Cambodia on Friday confirmed that ex-billionaire property developer Sergei Polonsky is in detention in the city of Sihanoukville.

“We can confirm that Polonsky has been detained. But we do not have any further detail regarding the circumstances at present,” a Russian diplomat in Phnom Penh told RIA Novosti. “We are looking into it.”

The Embassy’s confirmation follows media reports that Cambodian police had arrested Polonsky and two other Russian nationals on charges of premeditated violence and false imprisonment. Local police said that Polonsky was one of three men arrested on Monday in Sihanoukville.

Six sailors, who were part of a crew bringing the three men back to shore after a visit to nearby islands, claim the men threatened them at knifepoint, locked them in a cabin, and made them jump into the sea.

None of those detained have commented on the accusations.

Polonsky used to head the Mirax Group construction firm. It collapsed in 2011, and Polonsky was quoted by Russian newspaper Vedomosti in March 2011 as saying “I am not a businessman any more.”

He made headlines again in 2011 when he participated in talk show debate with Alexander Lebedev that descended into violence. “I neutralized him,” Lebedev was quoted as saying of the incident, explaining that Polonsky’s boorish and unstable behavior pushed him to the limit.

Vladimir Putin labeled their behavior “hooliganism.”


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