The National Guard of Russia and Interior Ministry forces have arrested more than 30 uniformed officials, including a senior Russian traffic officer, for corruption, after which photos of his palatial home with its gold toilet were leaked on social media for public scrutiny.

Alexey Safonov, 45, a police colonel from Russia's Stavropol region, has been accused of leading a criminal gang that accepts bribes and issues permits to grain cargo transporters, allowing them to ignore regional laws even when crossing police checkpoints, the Daily Mail reported.

Safonov and 35 of his officers, who reportedly live far beyond their salaries, allegedly took in some $254,889 in bribes and forged fake documents for transportation companies in the Stavropol region  

The men are accused of corruption to ultimately fund their lavish lifestyles that included Safonov's kitsch home with reports that his “golden palace turned out cooler than palaces of some Tsars in the past,” according to some local outlets. 

Investigators say Safonov and his colleagues also profited from the sale of fancy number plates. Authorities carried out a total of 80 property searches and found direct evidence of almost £200,000 (US$275,226.20) recent bribes, seizing large stash of cash, luxury cars as well as confidential documents, Sky News noted.

Safonov and members of his crew, which includes a current and former traffic inspector, are now facing charges which could lead to 15 years in jail. Investigations are continuing, with further arrests and charges still on the cards. 

Anti-corruption officers investigating Safonov have since released images of his lavish baroque-style property where floors and walls are tiled with marble and its comfort room is complete with its gold-plated toilet, bidet, sink, and shower cubicle, as well as a luxurious chandelier.

The same style continues throughout the residence, which also has a sauna and billiards room. The property houses a sweeping gold staircase, gilt wallpapers, ornate bed frames, draped curtains, as well as extravagant works of art that embellish the marbled walls.

The arrest comes ahead of elections, which Vladimir Putin's United Russia party is hoping to dominate. MP Alexander Khinshtein, a senior official in the ruling United Russia party, has slammed Safonov's "Mafia" operations and shamed the officer, posting images of his lush residence on social media. 

“This is just the Kremlin’s traditional series of arrests before the elections, something people want to see," Elena Panfilova, the founder of Transparency International in Russia, said. She also moved to lambaste Safonov's golden toilets. 

"I wonder how many corrupt bosses are calling their designers right now, looking into switching for maybe something less kitsch and more Scandinavian."

Safonov is known for boasting his office's efforts in cracking down on corruption, according to the Daily Beast. He had even spoken in front of the media to call out some policemen’s temptation to take bribes.

“Unfortunately, some police inspectors cannot resist the offer,” he reportedly once told local reporters. 

toilet Anti-corruption officers investigating Safonov have since released images of his lavish baroque-style property where floors and walls are tiled with marble and its comfort room is complete with its own gold-plated toilet, bidet, sink, and shower cubicle, as well as a chandelier. This is a representational image. William Edwards/Getty Images