Peruvian police say a group in the remote jungle has been killing people in order to drain the fat from their corpses. They would then sell the fat on the black market for use in cosmetics, The Huffington Post reports.
Three suspects have confessed to killing five people, said Col. Jorge Mejia, chief of Peru's anti-kidnapping police. He said the suspects, two of whom were arrested carrying bottles of liquid fat, told police it was worth $60,000 a gallon ($15,000 a liter).
Although officers believe the fat was sold to cosmetic companies in Europe, the suspects told police the fat was sold to intermediaries in Lima.
Medical experts don’t believe an international market for human fat exists, but they do admit that it has cosmetic applications. The Huffington Post spoke to Yale University dermatology professor Dr. Lisa Donofrio, who speculated that a small market may exist for "human fat extracts" to keep skin supple, though scientifically such treatments are "pure baloney."
Six members of the killing gang remain at large. Police suspect dozens more may have been killed for this purpose.