Two held in Britain over New York 'cannibal' cop case

LONDON (AFP) - Two men have been arrested in Britain in connection with the ongoing case of a New York policeman accused of plotting to kidnap and eat women in the US, police said Saturday.

Gilberto Valle, 28, an officer of six years' service in the New York Police Department, is charged with conspiracy to kidnap and illegally accessing police criminal databases to research potential victims.

A spokesman for police in the county of Kent, south-east England, said two men aged 30 and 57 from the Canterbury area had been arrested on Feb 21 for conspiracy offences, grooming and possession of child abuse images.

"Kent Police has been in contact with US law enforcement agencies in relation to this investigation," the spokesman said in a statement.

"We can confirm it is in relation to the Gilberto Valle case in the US." The spokesman said the two men had been released on police bail whilst enquiries continue.

According to prosecutors at his trial in a Manhattan federal court, Valle made elaborate plans to drug and carry off women, who would then be roasted on spits or put in ovens and eaten.

He has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers say the alleged plot was nothing more than a sick - but surprisingly common - sexual fantasy.

No women were harmed by Valle, though prosecutors say his plans, discussed on specialist cannibal fetish websites, went far beyond fantasy.

Valle faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted on the kidnapping conspiracy charge.

The officer, who had been aiming for promotion to sergeant, is in custody in Manhattan at a unit for high-security prisoners.

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