Members of Tropikanka gang sentenced to 50 years for killing fellow villagers 

Members of Tropikanka gang sentenced to 50 years for killing fellow villagers
Svetlana ‘Tropikanka’ Stepenko Photo: Vladimir Zhabrikov © URA.RU

Relatives of the victims have filed for compensation for moral damage in the amount from 300 to 500 thousand rubles.⁠

The Sverdlovsk Regional Court has convicted members of the gang headed by 41-year-old Svetlana Stepenko known under the nickname Tropikanka, who used to kill residents of the Neyvo-Shaytansk village for the sake of profit.

The defendants in the dock included Tropikanka herself, her 26-year-old civil husband Ilya Muravyev, her 27-year-old son-in-law Vyacheslav Neglets, and 45-year-old businesswoman Natalya Glagoleva. All four defendants have been found guilty under part 2 of Art. 105 of the Russian Criminal Code (Murder of two or more persons committed by a group of persons by previous concert, committed with the purpose of concealing another crime), as well as part 2 of Art. 159.1 of the Russian Criminal Code (Swindling in lending).

Светлана Степенько

Svetlana Stepenko. Vladimir Zhabrikov © URA.RU

Gang leader Svetlana Stepenko has received a sentence of 13.5 years of imprisonment in a general-regime colony. Ilya Muravyev and Vyacheslav Neglets will serve their sentence in a strict-security colony; they will be imprisoned for 19 years 1 month and 16 years 1 month, respectively. After release, their freedom will be restricted for a period of 2 years. In addition, by court order they will have to pay the murdered persons’ relatives a total of 3 million rubles (from 300 to 500 thousand rubles for each claimant). Businesswoman Natalya Glagoleva has been sentenced to 2 years of correctional labor as punishment; the investigators have not charged her with murder.

Неглец и Муравьев

Neglets and Muravyev. Vladimir Zhabrikov © URA.RU

It is known that two out of the four defendants had previously been convicted; namely, Tropikanka for Battery and Neglets for Illegal drug trafficking.

As previously reported by the CrimeRussia, there are three murders under their belt. The investigation and the court have found that their criminal history began in 2015, when owner of a store selling goods made of leather and fur Natalya Glagoleva offered Svetlana Stepenko to return the debt using a fraudulent scheme. In exchange for this, Stephenko had to find people leading an antisocial lifestyle with a view of drawing fictitious bank credits to purchase goods in the businesswoman’s stores. The lenders did not receive money and goods on hand, as they were appropriated by swindlers. The amounts of pseudo credits ranged from 70 to 93 thousand rubles. When the bank’s security service started an inspection, members of the gang decided to eliminate witnesses of their crimes. In December 2015, they made him drunk and set fire to his house. The man died of carbon monoxide poisoning. In January 2016, Muravyev and Neglets were taken to a forest by another person, for whom they had previously issued a loan. The bandits inflicted no less than 13 blows to the man’s head with a metal rod, from which he died on the spot. Another victim of the gang was a 63-year-old pensioner, whom criminals had taken to the forest and thrown into a ravine, where she froze to death.

Local residents told that Svetlana Stepenko’s gang kept the whole village in awe. The villagers do not remember exactly the origins of her nickname. Stepenko used to earn by purchasing stolen goods and selling surrogate alcohol. The woman often changed her ‘partners.’ At the same time, her first and third husbands had hanged themselves.

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