Russia police chief with gold toilet sacked for corruption

Man with the Midas Flush! The Russian police chief, who had a solid gold toilet, is fired on corruption charges

  • Alexey Safonov, police chief of Russia’s Stavropol region, sacked for corruption
  • 45-year-old who is accused of running a “mafia gang” with 35 other officials
  • Police officers reportedly blackmailed motorists while allowing others to escape security checkpoints
  • Investigators published pictures of Safanov’s “palatial” house and its golden toilet

A Russian police chief who owned a “palatial” house with its own golden toilet was fired for corruption.

Alexey Safonov, 45, a police colonel from Russia’s Stavropol region, was arrested along with 35 of his officers on charges of leading a “mafia gang”.

Investigators say the “gang” blackmailed motorists and took bribes to finance a lavish lifestyle, which included Safonov’s kitschy house.

The man with the golden stopper: A Russian police colonel who had been dismissed for corruption had a lavishly furnished house with a golden toilet (right)

Alexey Safonov, 45, reportedly extorted motorists and took bribes - the money spent on kitsch, including baroque mirrors, a double-sided bathtub and a bathroom chandelier

Alexey Safonov, 45, reportedly extorted motorists and took bribes – the money spent on kitsch, including baroque mirrors, a double-sided bathtub and a bathroom chandelier

Anti-corruption investigators posted pictures of Safonov's house, including gilded wallpaper, heavy curtains, and an ornate bed

Anti-corruption investigators posted pictures of Safonov’s house, including gilded wallpaper, heavy curtains, and an ornate bed

Even the kitchen was outfitted with a chandelier and marble floors and baroque-patterned cupboards with gold details

Even the kitchen was outfitted with a chandelier and marble floors and baroque-patterned cabinets with gold details

Anti-corruption officials investigating Safonov have posted pictures of the property, complete with its gilded toilet, bidet, and sink.

The floors and walls are tiled with marble, and in the background there is a huge baroque mirror hanging next to a gold-painted bathroom cabinet.

A second bathroom has a double-sided bathtub, his and hers sinks and a gold-colored shower cubicle, while a chandelier hangs from the ceiling.

Safonov was fired along with 35 of his colleagues and is now charged with corruption and abuse of power

Safonov was fired along with 35 of his colleagues and is now charged with corruption and abuse of power

The same style continues throughout the house – from the curving golden staircase to the frescoed ceilings, gilded wallpaper, ornate bed frames, draped curtains, and artwork that adorns the walls.

The house even includes luxuries like a sauna and a billiard room.

According to investigators, Safonov and his colleagues paid for this luxury by blackmailing local drivers and selling truck drivers passports to avoid security checks.

They also benefited from the sale of “fancy license plates”.

Local officials fired en masse the gang ahead of the elections that Putin’s United Russia party hopes to win in the face of waning support for the strong man.

“A real mafia operated in the Stavropol region,” said MP Alexander Khinshtein, who is also a high-ranking official of the ruling political party “United Russia”.

Safonov and six members of the “criminal ring”, including a current and former traffic inspector, have been arrested and face charges that could result in 15 years in prison.

A total of 80 searches found direct evidence of nearly £ 200,000 in bribes, the investigation said.

He and other uniformed prisoners are said to be conducting a “mafia operation” and living well above their salaries.

A gran staircase in Safonov's house stands next to another chandelier with one of several frescoed ceilings in the background

A gran staircase in Safonov’s house stands next to another chandelier with one of several frescoed ceilings in the background

Paintings adorn the walls, while the windows in Safanov's hallway, discovered by anti-corruption police, are framed by heavy curtains

Paintings adorn the walls, while the windows in Safanov’s hallway, discovered by anti-corruption police, are framed by heavy curtains

The house has marble tiles throughout, as well as baroque details on the ceilings, banisters and walls - all painted gold

The house has marble tiles throughout, as well as baroque details on the ceilings, banisters and walls – all painted gold

On-site amenities include a billiards room (pictured) and a sauna

On-site amenities include a billiards room (pictured) and a sauna

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