from The Guardian UK

Gang ‘killed victims to extract their fat’

Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent

Peruvian police have arrested a gang which allegedly killed scores of peasants, drained their bodies of fat and sold the liquid abroad as an anti-wrinkle cosmetic.

Three suspects have confessed to killing five people for their fat, said Colonel Jorge Mejia, chief of Peru‘s anti-kidnapping police, but the number of victims was believed to be much higher and to date back decades.

Two of the suspects were arrested at a bus station in the capital, Lima, carrying bottles of liquid fat which they claimed were worth up to £36,000 a gallon.

Police named the band the “Pishtacos” after a myth dating to pre-Columbian times of killers who slaughtered victims with machetes to extract fat. The gang allegedly operated in Huanuco, a rural province dotted with Inca temples between the jungle and Andean peaks.

Six members remained at large including the alleged leader, Hilario Cudena, who has been killing to extract fluid for more than three decades, said police.

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