Arrest (stock)
Arrest (stock)iStock

Guatemalan authorities on Wednesday morning arrested two members of the "Lev Tahor" cult in a village near Oratorio in Santa Rosa, Guatemala, Israel Hayom reported.

The arrests were made on suspicion of kidnapping and abuse of children, and the arrest operation included 100 police officers and 40 squad cars due to concerns that members of the cult would riot and allow the suspects to escape.

The suspects, Yoel and Shlomo Weingarten, were arrested in a joint operation by Guatemala and the US federal government, and are suspected of several counts of kidnapping and abuse.

According to Guatemalan media, police agents infiltrated the cult, which had found shelter in a remote area of the country, and succeeded in obtaining the necessary information to charge the suspects.

Since 2014, when US authorities began to act against the cult, Lev Tahor members have lived in Oratorio, approximately 31 miles from Guatemala City.

The cult includes approximately 40 families.

A Lev Tahor spokesman told Guatemalan media that the Weingartens' arrest is illegal, and that both suspects are Guatemalan residents.

"The US federal government has no authority to act in this country," he said.