Authorities in Kazakhstan say they have detained several suspected members of a criminal ring they accuse of killing dozens of elderly people in order to obtain their homes in Almaty, the Central Asian country's largest city.
Interior Ministry spokesman Almas Sadubaev wrote on Facebook on May 26 that the group consisting of more than 20 people was led by "a criminal kingpin."
Sadubaev said the suspects included former police officers and notaries public. He did not give any names.
He said that investigators have proven four cases in which apartments that were privatized and sold had previously belonged to elderly people who went missing.
The group is suspected in 45 such cases, he said.
The suspects are in pretrial detention.