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The eight people believed to be part of a kidnapping gang. The eight people believed to be part of a kidnapping gang.

Authorities shut down kidnapping gang operated by prison inmate

8 people arrested in Mexico City, state of México

A joint operation by Mexico City and México state authorities resulted in the arrest of eight people involved in a crime gang allegedly responsible for several kidnappings, all led by a man behind bars in Mexico City.

One of the group’s latest victims, according to authorities, an unidentified woman kidnapped from Valle de Chalco, in México state, was found dead May 24 in the same municipality despite the fact that her family had paid over 1 million pesos (US $45,000) in ransom.

Officials say the gang’s ringleader is Polo “El Hardy” Páez Medina, 27, currently serving a prison term in a prison in Iztapalapa. Authorities arrested him after discovering a cell phone in his possession they say he used to coordinate the kidnappings with those outside the prison.

The other seven members allegedly took orders from Páez and were involved in contacting victims, carrying out the kidnappings, sending videos to the victims’ families, and collecting ransoms in multiple payments in various bank accounts.

Members of the gang, which called itself Los Corazones (The Hearts), were arrested in various locations in Mexico City and the state of México, including two locations that authorities say were highly secure buildings where victims were kept by the group while they sought ransom payments.

Sources: El Universal (sp)

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