Russian MP detained in France’s Nice

Russian MP detained in France’s Nice

PARIS – The Associated Press
Russian MP detained in France’s Nice

French police have detained a Russian lawmaker and tycoon in southern France as part of a probe into suspected laundering of tax fraud proceeds, a French prosecutor said on Nov. 21.

The prosecutor told The Associated Press that Suleiman Kerimov, a Russian billionaire who has a seat in the upper house of Russian parliament, was arrested at the airport in the Riviera city of Nice on Nov. 20 night.

Kerimov was put in custody for questioning in the case, Nice prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretre said.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Nov. 21 night it has notified France that Kerimov has diplomatic immunity.

Kerimov shot to fame in the soccer world in 2011 when he bought Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala and went on a spectacular spending spree.

The controversial 51-year-old oligarch, who made a fortune by investing in struggling companies, represents the Caucasian Republic of Dagestan - where he was born - in the Council of the Russian Federation, the upper house of Parliament.