Elena Rybolovleva, the estranged wife of Russia’s former fertilizer king Dmitry Rybolovlev, was apprehended by Cyprus police on Monday on the orders of a Limassol-based trust that claimed she stole “a rare item of immense value” owned by the trust.
The item is believed to be diamond ring worth $25 mln and the property of one of the many trusts set up by Rybolovlev to spread his fortunes across companies and to benefit his two daughters, following Elena’s divorce battle waged since 2008 to get her hands on her ex-husband’s wealth worth about $3.5 bln. At one time, Rybolovlev was also a 10% shareholder in Bank of Cyprus, the island's biggest lender with a subsidiary in Russia, Uniastrum.
Bolton Trustees, acting on behalf of the Cyprus-registered Domus Trust, issued an announcement soon after she was held by police after she arrived on a flight from Switzerland on Monday morning, saying that they have “a legal duty to take whatever action necessary to protect the assets of the trusts.”
The Rybolovlev’s have been embroiled in legal battles around the world as Dmitry went on a spending spree buying up premium properties in New York, Monaco, Hawaii and, more recently, the former Onassis-owned Skorpios island in the Aegean, for about $100 mln.
The Cyprus police will determine if there is a case to be tried and if Elena Rybolovleva will be remanded on a court order or allowed to leave. It is not known if she is still in possession of the diamond ring.
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