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Russia indicts extradited tycoon for theft

19 may 2015, 11:48

 Russian authorities on Monday issued an indictment for fraud against tycoon Sergei Polonsky, less than a day after flying him in from Cambodia, the interior ministry said Monday, AFP reports.

"Today the investigative department of the Russian interior ministry presented Mr. Polonsky with fraud charges," ministry spokeswoman Yelena Alekseyeva said, adding that he was immediately questioned in his new status in a Moscow prison.

Polonsky, a flamboyant former developer famous for stunts like eating his tie after losing a bet on real estate prices, was flown in from Cambodia Sunday on extradition after overstaying his visa by two years.

Polonsky is accused of stealing money from two real estate projects near Moscow, affecting around 100 people who invested in the properties, and his Russian holdings were seized last year.

He left Russia in 2012 to live on his own island, where he chronicled his exploits, posting pictures of himself and two Mexican hairless dogs from his yacht.

The 42-year-old had already been detained in Cambodia in November 2013 after a request by Russia, but freed by an appeals court in January 2014.

Prison monitors told Interfax news agency Monday that Polonsky has been placed in a solitary cell and began playing chess and dominoes with himself.

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