The trio allegedly forged a sect called Cartel who wanted to purify the world and reduce the population according to police spokesman Democrito Honorato, from the Brazilian town of Guaranhuns.

They were identified as Jorge Beltrao Negromonte and Elizabeth Pires da Silveira, both 51, and Bruna da Silva. Police allege they intended to kill three women per year.

Once at their home, it is thought that the women were killed and their “meat” was cooked and used as the filling in a pastry dish known as empanada, which was then sold to unwitting neighbours.

Police acted after two bodies were found in the garden of the house of the trio. Police believe they may be the bodies of Alexandra Falcao, 20 and Gisele da Silva, 30, both of whom disappeared recently.

Police said that they attracted their victims “by offering them well-paid babysitting jobs”, before choosing their victims when “a spirit warned them they were bad people.”

“The details of the actions of the trio, with drawings and explanations of cannibalism, were found in a 50-page book written by Da Silveira, a man with a diploma in education and a black belt in karate,” Mr Honorato said.

“The three ate the flesh of their victims to purify their souls.”

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