Underground prison of Armenian Escobar

A private underground prison with a crematorium was found near St. Petersburg. The prison was disguised as a country house.


Murder on a suburban highway

This story begins in 2018. September 17, on Novopriozerskoe highway near the city of Sortavala, near St. Petersburg, when businessman Badri Shengelia was shot.

On the road, he was overtaken by a Mercedes with Finnish license plates and the businessman was shot from a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

The police began to search. With the help of a video surveillance system, which is installed on almost all major roads in Russia, it was possible to find out the area in which Mercedes and the murderers disappeared.

Then the search brought the police to the unfinished cottage settlement “New Petersburg”.

The detectives examined the suspicious house, but the owners of the house were not there. According to the land registry, the owner of the site was identified. It turned out to be a former employee of the Federal Penitentiary Service Arthur Escobar. In fact, Arthur Escobar is not Escobar at all, but Arthur Mrtchkyan, a native of Armenia. According to relatives, Arthur changed his last name not because he is impressed by the name of a famous drug lord, but simply because he likes the name Escobar.

During the investigation, it turned out that Arthur Escobar is the nominal owner of the house and plot of land. Then the police did not know that an underground prison was disguised under the house.

With the permission of the owner, the house was examined, but nothing suspicious was found.

Badri Shengelia

Badri Shengelia, a native of Georgia, arrived in Russia in the early 90s. Then he was part of the circle of the well-known crime boss Vladimir Kolesnikov, nicknamed “The Wheel”, who was killed in 1999.
Some people call Badri Shengelia Kolesnikov’s right hand.

Soon after, Badri Shengelia engaged in raider seizures. In 2001, he was convicted of fraud, but a year later he was released early for health reasons.

In 2008, he was again convicted of fraud, but a year later he was released from prison on parole.

Badri Shengelia cooperated with the investigation and acted as a witness in the case of a bribe of $ 50,000 which Mikhail Maksimenko, the head of the interdepartmental department of own security of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, extorted from him.

Mikhail Maksimenko
Mikhail Maksimenko

Mikhail Maksimenko received money and a Hublot watch from Badri Shengelia in exchange for loyalty and lobbying interests.

In April 2018, the court sentenced Maksimenko to 13 years in prison.

Locksmith with grenade launcher

A 32-year-old locksmith was detained in the course of operational-search activities in the case of the murder of Badri Shengelia in February 2019. During the search at his house, a Stechkin pistol, 182 cartridges for it, an army explosive package and a grenade launcher with ammunition for it were found.

From a locksmith with a grenade launcher, the investigators learned about a house with an underground garage, in which there may be a car in which the criminals who shot Badri Shengelia fled.

The detectives again went to the ill-fated cottage in the village of “New Petersburg”.

After opening the garage, it was found that the concrete floor tilted at a large angle. There, the operatives found a room in which, in addition to a garage, an underground prison was equipped.

What does the underground prison hide?

Underground prison plan
Underground prison plan

The concrete floor of the garage was actually an inclined ramp that was raised and lowered using a powerful hydraulic lift.

Downstairs was a 15 x 15 meter (49 x 49 ft) room that contained a guard room and 3 cells with bunk bunks. It is curious that the locks on the doors to the cells were exactly the same as in the Petersburg prison “Kresty”.

A car the size of a minibus could drive into the room.

At the time when the police searched the underground prison, there was no one in it.

Next to the house there was a bathhouse in which there was a huge basement where the crematorium oven was located. When 47news.ru journalists were conducting their investigation, the bathhouse was moved several meters by a cable, and the crematorium itself was excavated by an excavator.


According to experts, the cost of the underground structure cost the owners 30-40 million rubles ($ 500,000). All communications were connected to the underground prison: water, electricity, sewage. Powerful hydraulics were installed to control the concrete floor-ramp in the garage, waterproofing of the entire room was arranged, and most importantly, the surroundings of the room fully correspond to the premises of the IVS “Kresty” down to the smallest detail.

For what purposes and who needed to build an underground prison on such a grand scale?

During the investigation, the detectives literally dismantled the entire house on the boards, this can be seen from the photo, but no traces of people being in the underground prison were found. No fingerprints or traces of human DNA were found.

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation declares that since no traces of people were found, then this is not a prison at all. What then? A set for filming a porn movie? An entourage for a rich pervert? There are many more questions than answers.

Add 2 + 2

Arthur Escobar assures that he was the nominal owner of the underground prison and that he did not know what was actually happening on his land. According to him all at the site run by the some unidentified person, whose name was not called.
Leave it on the conscience of the Armenian Escobar.

Badri Shengelia testified against a major figure of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Maksimenko, for which he paid with his life.

The car, driving the killers of Badri Shengelia, disappeared into the underground garage, because there were no more places to hide the Mercedes nearby.

The garage and the house with an underground prison belong to the former employee of the Federal Penitentiary Service Escobar-Mrtchkyan. There is no doubt that these are links in the same chain.

Who were the prisoners of the underground prison? Who is this “unidentified person” who actually was in charge of the underground prison?

These questions remain unanswered.

Let’s add a little touch: after the publication of the journalists’ report from 47news.ru, the authorities urgently, “at the request of the investigation,” began to bury the underground prison in Escobar’s section.

The underground prison was buried
The underground prison was buried

Prepared based on materials from 47news.ru and data from open sources.

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