Five suspects arrested in Mexico casino attack
The suspects, who are said to appear on casino security surveillance video, told investigators that the attack was linked to an extortion attempt against the owners, Grupo Royale, according to Gov. Rodrigo Medina of Nuevo Leon, in an interview with Televisa. He said authorities are still working to determine which of the city’s warring criminal groups the men belong to.
The suspects are charged with setting fire to the casino just before 4:00 p.m. last Thursday. Two other people are reportedly being sought for questioning.
"I can tell you, without providing too many details to avoid hindering what we are doing at this time, that we already have five people under arrest who participated in different things having to do with what happened at the Casino Royale, all of whom have confessed," Medina said. "Some of them said from the outset that there was pressure or extortion that may have been brought to bear directly against the owners or management of the casino to get some amount of money.”
Grupo Royale operates casinos in the cities of Monterrey, Mazatlan, Los Cabos and Escobedo. The two-story Monterrey property, which opened in 2008, operates slots and table games with room for 250 people on the first floor and a second-floor poker room.
In recent years, Monterrey has been scarred by soaring rates in violent crime. According to public data, there were 267 murders in 2009, with the figure rising to 828 in 2010 and more than 1,100 so far this year.