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Reports: French Police Detain Russian Billionaire Kerimov In Tax-Fraud Case

Suleiman Kerimov watches a soccer match in Makhachkala in 2012.

News reports say French police have detained Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov as part of a tax-evasion investigation.

Kerimov, whose fortune is estimated by Forbes to be $6.3 billion, was arrested on November 20 at the airport in the southern city of Nice, the state-run news agency TASS reported.

Reuters quoted an official in the French prosecutor's office as saying Kerimov was being held for questioning in a case related to the laundering of tax-fraud proceeds.

Interfax quoted Russia's Foreign Ministry as confirming the detention. It also said that, as a member of Russia's upper house of parliament, Kerimov had diplomatic immunity that prevented him from being arrested.

Much of Kerimov's fortune comes from controlling Russia's largest gold producer Polyus, though he's also held shares in potash giant Uralkali and construction company PIK Group.

Based on reporting by Reuters, TASS, and Interfax