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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — Costa Rican authorities are hoping the arrest of 12 people allegedly involved in the September kidnapping of the owner of an internet sports betting site will lead to the missing U.S. citizen.

Director of Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Body Walter Espinoza said Friday that the arrests were made in Costa Rica and Spain.

Sean William Creighton had lived in Costa Rica for several years before he was kidnapped Sept. 24 near San Jose. Espinoza says the kidnappers used a rented pickup and worked with a pair of transit police officers to abduct Creighton.

Espinoza says Creighton's family paid a nearly $1 million ransom via the electronic currency Bitcoin. Investigators were able to link access to an electronic wallet to a computer address in Costa Rica.