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Veracruz police free eight hostages during bank robbery

Cerro Azul, Veracruz — At least eight people were set free by police after bank robbers took them hostage. Gaining their freedom was a combined effort by elements of the Specialized Unit to Combat Kidnapping, the Secretariat of National Defense, the National Guard and the Ministerial and Municipal Police.

The robbery happened at a bank branch in the municipality of Cerro Azul in Veracruz Tuesday morning. Police were alerted to the robbery in progress in which eight people were taken hostage. Reports say one of the hostages was forced to tie an explosive device to his chest.

Police surrounded the area, and by early afternoon, were successful in freeing the eight inside. Once they were outside, authorities learned the explosive device was a fake.

In a statement, the Ministry of Public Security (SSP) of the state of Veracruz reported that, “derived from a search operation, police managed, in addition to the rescue of the hostages, to locate a person who was deprived of liberty.”

The SSP did not disclose if they detained those responsible for the robbery of the bank branch, nor did they elaborate on details regarding the kidnapped person.