Mexican authorities have arrested 13 federal police officers who were allegedly part of a kidnap and murder gang that operated in the resort of Acapulco.
The officers were detained along with five civilians – four men and a woman – who also allegedly killed some of the kidnap victims.
The gang is thought to have been involved in seven murders and four kidnappings.
Three of the officers arrested in the raids
The suspects were arrested on the outskirts of Acapulco after an anonymous tip, the Mexican government’s national security spokesman, Eduardo Sanchez said.
“Investigations confirmed these individuals committed crimes mainly in the port of Acapulco,” said Mr Sanchez, speaking in Mexico City.
“They are suspected of committing crimes against health, organised crime, homicide, kidnapping, carrying weapons used exclusively by the Armed Forces, among others.
“(Previous arrests) led to the discovery of … graves in the hill of El Veladero in the municipality of Acapulco where three bodies were found.”
The Pacific coastal tourist resort of Acapulco, which lies in the western state of Guerrero, has been hit by a wave of violence in recent years.
It is now one of Mexico’s most violent cities with a murder rate of 77 homicides per 100,000 people.
The federal police have suffered various high-profile embarrassments in recent years.
In June last year a shoot-out between federal police and corrupt officers at Mexico City’s airport resulted in three deaths.
A few months later 14 federal police were charged with attempted murder after opening fire on a car carrying two CIA agents outside Mexico City.
President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in December, has vowed to end the blood-letting by targeting crimes such as kidnapping and extortion.
Guerrero is one of the most dangerous states in Mexico with 86 reported kidnappings in the first eight months of this year – more than in the whole of 2011 and 2012, according to official figures.