Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Flashy Russian tycoon convicted in Moscow

Flashy Russian tycoon convicted in Moscow

Sergei Polonsky (centre) is escorted by Cambodian police officials at the Phnom Penh airport in 2015. The Russian tycoon was convicted of large-scale embezzlement in Moscow yesterday. AFP
Sergei Polonsky (centre) is escorted by Cambodian police officials at the Phnom Penh airport in 2015. The Russian tycoon was convicted of large-scale embezzlement in Moscow yesterday. AFP

Flashy Russian tycoon convicted in Moscow

Sergei Polonsky, the flamboyant Russian businessman once jailed in Cambodia for allegedly threatening a group of boatmen with a knife, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in a Moscow court yesterday for embezzlement, but was immediately released because the statute of limitations for his crime had expired, according to Russian media outlets.

The fugitive tycoon was charged with financial fraud relating to a real estate scheme in Russia and had fled to Cambodia before being deported in May 2015. The Presnensky District Court of Moscow convicted him yesterday of large-scale embezzlement to the tune of $43 million and sentenced him to five years in prison, less than the prosecution’s requested eight years with a $15,000 fine.

“[The court rules to] sentence Polonsky to five years in a general regime penal colony on several counts, and free him from penalty due to the expiration of the statute of limitations and release him from custody in the courtroom,” Judge Yevgeny Naydenov was quoted as saying by Russian outlet TASS.

Polonsky lived a lavish lifestyle on two islands off the coast of Sihanoukville – Koh Dek Koul and Koh Damlong – and was notable for his ill-fated attempts to bring to Cambodia the Russian music festival KaZantip, which was ultimately thwarted by authorities.

He also waged a legal battle with arch-rival and former business partner Nikolai Doroshenko, with whom he had a falling out over plans to develop resorts on Cambodian islands.

MOST VIEWED

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Police arrest Canadian with 167kg of drugs

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on November 15 placed a Canadian national in pre-trial detention in connection with smuggling and possessing 167kg of illegal drugs. Deputy National Police chief in charge of anti-drug enforcement Mak Chito told The Post on November 15 that the man was arrested

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to