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article imageInmate in Moscow’s Matrosskaya Tishina prison escapes with spoon

By Anne Sewell     May 8, 2013 in World
Moscow - The inmate is charged with two counts of murder and was characterized as “mentally abnormal and liable to escape” by the prison staff. This didn't stop him from escaping, however, using only a simple spoon.
The prison has had only a few escapes in its history and is notorious for housing violent criminals.
Oleg Topalov, a 33-year-old from Sochi, appears to have had no problem, however, as according to guards the only way he could possibly have escaped from his eight-person cell was by using a spoon. Apparently they check cells regularly for any item that might aid prisoners in a possible escape.
Seems that early on Tuesday morning, guards in the prison discovered that Topalov was missing. He is accused not only of two murders, but also of illegal arms trafficking and was thought to be “mentally abnormal and liable to escape” by the prison staff.
He had served a year and a half in the prison and was scheduled to appear in court in the near future, but managed to escape before the hearings could be held.
Spokesperson for the Federal Penitentiary Service, Sergey Tsygankov, said in a statement that Topalov “expanded the vent of an air-shaft with the help of some item.”
He apparently then climbed up the vent to the prison’s roof, and managed to leave the facility undetected.
The Matrosskaya Tishina prison consists of a set of detention buildings, protected by a high barbed-wire fence and is located in one of Moscow's residential areas. The facility has been used to hold high-profile detainees such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Sergey Magnitsky.
While notorious for holding such extreme criminals, the complex is now around 100 years old and Russian Federal Penitentiary Service representative Kristina Belousova says that this is why Topalov succeeded in his escape.
"Because of the building being run-down, Topalov had no difficulty in widening the vent of the air-shaft, through which he got to the prison’s roof. Using sheets tied one to another he managed to go down the wall, then jump over the fence and run away,” Belousova told RIA Novosti.
Previous inmates attempting to escape the jail used brute force in an attempt to smash the facility's walls, and they were all later detained.
Police are now searching both the city and the Moscow region for Topalov and investigators have reportedly opened an inquiry into possible dereliction of duty among prison staff. Moscow police also apparently offered a "large reward" for his capture and an extra 40 years will be added to his sentence for his efforts.
More about Moscow, matrosskaya tishina prison, Prison Break, Escape, Spoon
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