The 39-year-oldEsmeralda Aravel Flores Acosta, popularly known as Black Widow was believed to be leading the gang, and their modus operandi had been to recruit young and attractive women and send them out to seduce rich businessmen. They got married to the men and then convinced them to get life insurance.

Police said after getting the life insurance, the gang then sent its members to kill the men and claimed their life insurance.

Reports say instead of taking the young recruits to the United States as agreed on, they were rather taken to Mexico where they were forced into prostitution.

San Salvador police revealed that "She pretended to be a housewife and told young women that they would marry eligible American bachelors and live in the United States."

However, Esmeralda has rejected the accusations, saying "I declare myself innocent. I have never worked at home. I sell vehicles and I am a stylist."

According to the, she has been charged with aggravated human trafficking, conspiracy to commit aggravated homicide and aggravated fraud.

Further reports suggest that police investigations have uncovered over $145,000 that has been claimed in insurance following the deaths of several victims.

The gang is believed to have been operating for the past six months and two other members have been arrested in addition to Esmeralda, one of who is also believe to be her sister.