Russian prosecutors asked Cambodia to repatriate the 42-year-old former billionaire in 2013 to stand trial on embezzlement charges, but Mr. Polonsky, who denies the charges, has so far successfully contested extradition proceedings. Russian prosecutors accuse Mr. Polonsky of embezzling 5.7 billion rubles ($114 million) from down payments made by prospective buyers of a luxury residential complex in Moscow that was never built. Moscow filed the charges in absentia in 2013 and declared him a fugitive.
Last year, Cambodia’s Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Polonsky couldn’t be repatriated to Russia because there was no extradition agreement between the two countries. Recently, however, Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the Ministry of Justice to review Moscow’s request to extradite Mr. Polonsky, and officials from the two countries have discussed implementing an extradition treaty.
A spokesman at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Mr. Polonsky’s arrest wasn’t related to the extradition deliberations but was rather the result of the businessman breaking immigration rules by staying in Cambodia after his visa expired.
The spokesman, Koy Kuong, said five other foreigners were arrested for the same offense along with Mr. Polonsky .
“People here illegally will be sent back to their country, as always,” Mr. Koy said. “We won’t allow them to stay in the country. We are just following our immigration law.”
Mr. Polonsky is chairman and founder of real-estate group Potok, a successor company to the defunct Mirax. It operates in Russia, Ukraine, France, Cambodia, Switzerland, the U.S. and the U.K., according to its website. Its Cambodian assets include a resort on Dek Koule island, located off the coast of Sihanoukville.