MOSCOW, January 9 (RAPSI) – Investigation into ex-officials of an Amur Region’s penal colony where a notorious gang member Vyacheslav Tsepovyaz is serving sentence for involvement in mass murder has been completed, the Russian Investigative Committee’s news release reads.

Ex-chief of the penitentiary facility Sergey Kartavtsev and his deputy Vladimir Vasilyev are charged with abuse of office.

Investigators believe that the defendants have illegally established bee farms, poultry houses, car services and souvenir workshops in the colony by signing contracts with the friends and relatives of certain inmates including Tsepovyaz for their employment, relaxed jail conditions and further possible release on parole.

Previously, another case was launched over abuse of powers by the prison authorities.

Examination conducted by prosecutors throughout 2018 revealed that prison officials made it possible for Tsepovyaz, an imprisoned member of Sergey Tsapok’s gang, to systematically violate the rules: eat gourmet food, have additional visits, freely use prohibited items.It was also found that the penal colony’s administration unlawfully mitigated the inmate’s prison conditions.

Earlier, Russian media published photos of Tsepovyaz eating crabs, caviar and barbecuing in the colony. Authenticity of these photos was not disputed.

In 2013, Russia’s Krasnodar Regional Court found gang leader Sergey Tsapok guilty of mass murder and sentenced him to life in prison. Tsapok and his group have been found guilty of other numerous crimes, including grave and exceptionally grave ones. Tsepovyaz was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison.

On November 4, 2010, 12 people, including four children, were brutally murdered in the village of Kushchevskaya in the Krasnodar Territory in southern Russia. The family of a wealthy local farmer Server Ametov was stabbed to death along with visiting friends and a bystander. The convicted killers started several fires around the house before fleeing.

That murder became one of the most high-profile cases in modern Russia. The investigation revealed that the thugs had terrorized the village for years, and that some local police officers had covered up their activities.