A MACABRE “private mafia jail” has been uncovered in Russia – with the chilling cells including a crematorium for its tortured victims.
Chilling images show the underground cells modelled on the most notorious prison in St Petersburg called Kresty.
But mystery surrounds who ran the site or whether it had any links to Russian authorities.
Three cells each have iron bunk beds, a washbasin, and a toilet, along with steel doors and “feeding troughs”.
The gates are decorated with a wolf, a spider, a woman behind bars, and skull and crossbones with the inscription ‘Black Hand’ – suggesting links to the Italian mafia.
A sign above the entrance reads “Copenhagen” and there was a complex high-security entry system.
When news broke of the prison, the authorities used a bulldozer to stop people from getting in and are reported to have “classified” information about the site.
The jail in Novy Peterburg village — 27 miles from St Petersburg — is located in a half-destroyed and semi-flooded house.
‘FURNACE USED TO ROAST VICTIMS’
In one room possibly used for torture, there are multiple electric sockets, including in the ceiling.
Nearby is a furnace that is large enough to fit a human body.
Biological remains were found inside, suggesting this was a secret private jail with its own crematorium to dispose of murdered people.
It is believed to be owned by a 50-year-old car dealer who changed his name from Artur Mkrtychyan to Artur Escobar.
The surname is the same as the Colombian drug lord and narco-terrorist Pavlo Escobar.
He owned the property from 2018 but it was built as a jail eight years earlier.
An ex-owner of the property was Renat Alimzanov, a former detention centre chief who died in 2018.
We can only guess who was kept a captive there, and who was burned alive
Sergey Kanev, Investigative journalist
Investigative journalist Sergey Kanev believes the private jail was used by a powerful mafia ring.
He said: “A private jail with a crematorium was found in Leningrad region.
“We can only guess who was kept a captive there, and who was burned alive.”
A similar jail was found earlier near Moscow.
He said: “There was no crematorium, but a hall of torture in the basement.
“A special iron table was installed, hostages were tied up to it and cruelly tortured.
“For example, a pool cue was used on men.
“Reluctant businessmen, debtors, thugs and hijackers of expensive foreign cars who refused to work under the right ‘roof’ were brought there.”
After reports surfaced in local media outlet 47news over the “private jail” near St Petersburg, the authorities rapidly deployed a bulldozer to bar entry.
Adding to the mystery, the Russian Investigative Committee said it has launched a probe but said it was “classified”.