Cambodian authorities arrested Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky today on an expired visa and are working to deport him to Russia in less than two weeks, an immigration official said.
The 42-year-old fugitive was arrested along with his five other Russian friends from an island in the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk.
“We’ve arrested six of them, all are Russians,” said Gen. Ouk Hay Seila, director of investigation at the immigration department. “He was arrested for overstaying his visa. It expired in 2013.”
The Russian government has spent over a year lobbying Cambodia to extradite Mr. Polonsky to stand trial on embezzlement charges. Mr. Polonsky is accused of embezzling $114 million from down payments made by prospective buyers of a luxury residential complex in Moscow that was never built.
Last year, Cambodia’s Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Polonsky could not be repatriated to Russia because the two countries do not have an extradition agreement.
The arrest came a day after it was reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had asked the Ministry of Justice to review an ongoing extradition request from Moscow.
“We are now working on paperwork to deport him and in about one week we will send him out of the country,” said Gen. Ouk Hay Seila.