Russian Orphanage Head Probed Over Teen Slave Labor

MOSCOW/ ORENBURG, April 16 (RIA Novosti) – Russian investigators have opened a criminal case against an orphanage director suspected of exploiting teenagers in her care as unpaid laborers, officials said on Tuesday.

Director Valentina Tazekenova is suspected of abuse of authority, and withholding salaries worth 1.5 million rubles ($48,300) from teenagers at an orphanage facility in the Orenburg region near Kazakhstan, the Investigative Committee said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to investigators, last year Tezenkova submitted a monthly list of orphanage teenagers (ranging from 36 to 63 people) to a local labor exchange. The director allegedly signed the teenagers up to short-term labor contracts with employers, often in violation of safety rules and the labor code, the statement said.

Tezenkova faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

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