Phuket Immigration officers with Bangkok police arrested Vladimir Antochvili, 29, at his apartment in the capital about 9.30pm last night.
A receptionist called him down to the foyer where the Phuket officers and police were waiting.
Investigators will now try to establish the whereabouts of more than 20 million baht handed to Mr Antochvili and a Russian accomplice by two Russians who thought he was a legitimate property broker.
According to Phuket Immigration officers, a Russian retiree went to Chalong Police Station to report the fraud in 2012 after Mr Antochvili received three tranches of three million baht to purchase a property.
A second Russian reported being defrauded of 12 million baht.
Mr Antochvili claimed the three percent commission from the property seller before disappearing, officers said. It is not yet known how much remains of the money.
Mr Antochvili was brought back to Phuket where he will face further questioning before a trial at Phuket Provincial Court.
Although there are some reliable property brokers on Phuket, buyers are advised to proceed with caution.