Five Minors Reportedly Lured and Kidnapped by Mexican Drug Cartel Using Free Fire
Police officers in Oaxaca, Mexico rescued five kids after they were reportedly lured and kidnapped by the Northeast Cartel, one of the biggest drug cartels in Mexico. The cartel operated through a WhatsApp group related to Garena’s mobile Battle Royale game, Free Fire. The minors were reportedly taken away from their respective homes in the municipality in Tlacolula de Matamoros to a safe house within the city of Oaxaca. The police got involved after one of the abducted minor’s parents alerted them. The minor left a note claiming that he would be going on a journey to Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, and would be sending a lot of money to them soon.
Drug Cartel in Mexico uses video games to recruit minors into their ranks
The State Investigation Agency in Mexico took swift action and tracked down the five minors who were reportedly kidnapped by the Northeast Cartel. This was made possible after one of the minor’s parents reported to the authorities that their son left a letter claiming to be going on an 800-mile journey to Monterrey, Nuevo León, and would be sending a lot of money back home soon.
According to a report by the , the investigators were able to track the children’s cellphone activity to a bus terminal, further leading them to a home in the city of Santa Lucía del Camino. In there, the authorities were met by a woman who claimed that the boys were “just there for a birthday party.” However, the police were able to confirm that the five children inside the house were indeed the abducted minors and were being held against their will.
The woman was then arrested and shall soon be facing various charges in court. The minors were safely returned to their families.
Investigators also found out that the drug cartel used Free Fire as the means to scout out minors and recruit them into their ranks. The investigations led to a WhatsApp group that is camouflaged as a gaming group for minors. The article from the Daily Mail also further mentioned that according to Mexican authorities, the Northeast Cartel had a 13-year-old boy who would lure other children he met in video game rental shops, in the southern state of Oaxaca.