PHNOM PENH Jan 5 Russian real estate tycoon
Sergei Polonsky has been detained in Cambodia accused of assault
and illegal detention after an incident on a boat, authorities
in the Southeast Asian nation said on Saturday.
Polonsky, 40, who was worth $1.2 billion before the global
financial crisis, was detained on Tuesday with two other
Russians. Cambodian military police say they forced some crew to
jump off a boat at knifepoint and one boatman was punched.
Cambodian police spokesman Kheng Tito said the three
Russians were still being held and a prosecutor and an
investigating judge were working on the case. Russian media had
reported that Polonsky had been released.
"The victims said that they were locked up in a toilet and
cabin and forced to jump off to swim back to an island, which
meant that if they could not make it, they would be drowned,"
Kheng Tito said.
Kheng Tito said the boatmen were ferrying Polonsky from an
island back to a popular seaside town in Preah Sihanouk on the
mainland, about 225 km (140 miles) southwest of the Cambodian
capital, Phnom Penh.
He said the three Russians were investors in a new island
resort. Other details were unclear. Kheng Tito said one of the
Russians had accused the boatmen of failing to follow Polonsky's
Polonsky's company, Mirax Group, experienced serious
problems during the global financial crisis and has been
reorganised under the name Potok.
The flamboyant tycoon is perhaps best known outside Russia
for an incident in 2011 in which Russian billionaire Alexander
Lebedev threw a punch at him during a television talk show.
(Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Janet Lawrence)