Police in Colombia have captured five suspected members of a criminal network allegedly dedicated to arranging marriages with men and then murdering them in an attempt to cash in on their life insurance.
The capture of four women and one man on Monday was an initial raid on a criminal gang nicknamed the "Black Widows" by the Colombian media, and according to the police chief of Antioquia, Col. José Gerardo Acevedo, more arrests are expected.
Authorities accuse the suspects of one murder, according to Acevedo, but the operation is a continuation of an investigation initiated in June, after police were alerted to a pattern of suspicious insurance payments, that lead to the arrests two men and a woman for two murders.
"They [the Black Widows] sought out men with little resources; they promised them trips to Spain and better living conditions; they married them; they filed life insurance policies which the criminal organization would then profit off of; and they killed them," the officer explained.
He added that the insurance pay outs ranged from "one hundred million pesos (about $55,660) to eight hundred million pesos (about $445,290)."
Apparently, the victims were single men living in the economically depressed areas of Medellín and the Colombian Coffee Belt.
According to Acevedo, the female suspects divided up the roles they played in the crimes, while "some offered to live with the husbands," others participated in the assassinations, recruited lawyers, or participated in the effort to collect the insurance.
Regarding the men arrested as part of the Black Widow gang -- one allegedly functioned as a assassin and another is accused of being the "Black Widow" network coordinator who oversaw operations and financing.
Two of the victims were drowned in the reservoir and a third was killed with a firearm.
Translated from EFE by Fox News Latino.