Procuratorial Daily reported on Friday that the men, who police suspect are members of a gang, are accused of releasing toxic gas into a mine shaft in order to kill one underground miner at the Linying mine in Lushan county, Henan.
They then collected a total of 60,000 yuan ($US8600) after claiming they were members of the dead miner's family and saying the mine owner was responsible for the death as it was a mining accident.
The Procuratorial Daily reported the men then went on to poison and crush another three coal miners in two separate incidents at two mines in Lushan. They collected another 300,000 yuan after once again claiming they were family members of the victims.
Police are hunting other suspects in the murders after the three arrested men confessed to the crimes.