Russian police are scrambling to track down five escaped prisoners who broke out of a confinement unit outside Moscow in a daring bid for freedom. The alleged killer of a high-profile meat industry mogul is said to be among them.
On Friday morning, the regional prosecutor’s office in the capital announced that an investigation was underway into how the men had slipped through security and made it out of the prison. In a statement, officials said that guards and security service employees would be probed to see whether they had any involvement in the plot.
Olga Vradiy, an aide to the head of Moscow Region’s Investigative Committee, revealed that the group had access to prohibited tools. According to her, the incident took place “at about four o’clock in the morning in the temporary detention center of the Russian Interior Ministry.” Inmates used “items banned from circulation, presumably a wrench, and unscrewed the door locks, after which five people escaped from custody.”
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A photo purporting to show a dismantled cell door was shared by the 112 news channel on Telegram later on Friday, claiming that a guard had failed to shut the hatch in the door through which food is passed. Local media have reported that the officer has now been detained for questioning.
Among those who have escaped, Vradiy added, is suspected murderer Alexander Mavridi, who was arrested in November last year over his alleged involvement in the death of businessman Vladimir Marugov, dubbed Russia’s ‘Sausage King’. The meat industry mogul was killed while relaxing in a sauna cabin outside his home, near Moscow. Two masked men burst onto the property and tied up Marugov and his partner, before shooting a crossbow bolt through his chest.
An operation to recapture Mavridi and the other four prisoners who escaped along with him is underway.
READ MORE: Russian ‘Sausage King’ murder investigators find elderly man handcuffed to bed during search of chief suspect’s home
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