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Tomb-raiding gang caught in East China
From:ChinaDaily   |  2020-09-23 16:07

HANGZHOU -- Police have busted a tomb-raiding gang in East China's Zhejiang province for stealing bricks from an ancient tomb.

Police have apprehended 21 suspects and confiscated more than 10,000 ancient bricks, including some belonging to the Wei, Jin, and Southern and Northern dynasties (220-589). Of the suspects, 17 have been transferred for prosecution on suspicion of illegally excavating and robbing ancient cultural sites or ancient tombs, according to the public security bureau of the city of Shaoxing.

In January, police received a report about an orchard having been dug up. After an initial investigation, they concluded that the orchard was the site of an ancient tomb prohibited from being excavated. Police also found a number of holes in the vicinity, possibly dug by the tomb-raiders.

Police later found that one of the suspects surnamed Fang contacted an acquaintance from his hometown in Zhejiang in early 2019. They recruited a group of migrant workers from Southwest China's Guizhou province and organized them to steal the bricks from Zhejiang tombs.

In May, police caught 19 suspects in a crackdown in Zhejiang and detained two others outside the province. Before they were caught, the gang had already raided more than 40 tombs in Zhejiang and raked in about 1 million yuan (about $147,200) in illegal proceeds by selling the ancient bricks.