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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Escapee Found, 4 Others Still at Large

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Police have apprehended one of five convicts who escaped from a locked prison van under unclear circumstances last week, a spokesman for GUIN — the Justice Ministry department in charge of prisons — said Monday.

GUIN spokesman Ilya Golubelov said in a telephone interview that Sergei Gusev, 29, was detained in a Moscow apartment Sunday, but declined to give details on the search for the other fugitives — all of whom had been convicted on drug and burglary charges.

"It makes no difference whether the others are in Moscow or not," he said. "They will be found and brought to justice."

The breakout took place late Friday when the five escapees and 14 other prisoners were being transferred from the Butyrskaya prison to the Krasnopresnenskaya prison — a transit point for convicts being sent to other facilities.

Golubelov said his agency was investigating both the circumstances of the escape and the actions of the guards who were in charge of their transport.

Golubev did acknowledge that the guards had violated some regulations. According to GUIN procedures, one guard was supposed to have traveled in the back of the vehicle together with the prisoners to keep an eye on them, but Friday both men sat in the van's cab, Golubev said.

How the five fugitives had opened the van's locked door and escaped was unclear, he said, adding that there had never been an escape like this before.

Local media reported over the weekend that the vehicle had stopped to refuel at a gas station a few hundred meters from the Butyrskaya prison, but Golubelov denied this.

He said GUIN and other law enforcement agencies had launched a manhunt for the four men still at large: Igor Dzhanashia, 39, Anton Dybovsky, 27, and Artak Galayan, 33, who had been serving seven-year prison terms on drug charges, and Mamadzhan Kamolov, 26, who was sentenced to four years for burglary.

Gusev, who was also serving seven years on drug charges, and Dybovsky are the only Muscovites among the escapees, Golubelov added.

If caught, the convicts could have their sentences extended by as much as eight years for the breakout.