Big­gest-ever tomb raid rob­bers nabbed

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

More than 170 tomb raiders have been ar­rested and 1,168 cul­tural relics re­cov­ered in an op­er­a­tion, said the Min­istry of Public Se­cu­rity.

De­scribed as the big­gest swoop of its kind since the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China was founded in 1949, the min­istry val­ued the looted ar­ti­facts at more than 500 mil­lion yuan ($80 mil­lion). The re­cov­ered ar­ti­facts in­clude a coiled jade dragon, one of the ear­li­est known rep­re­sen­ta­tions of the Chi­nese totem.

The tomb raiders are sus­pected of il­le­gal ex­ca­va­tions in Ni­uhe­liang, a Ne­olithic site in north­east­ern Liaon­ing prov­ince. Their ac­tiv­i­ties have se­ri­ously dam­aged the site, said the min­istry.

Four arche­ol­o­gists are sus­pected of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the tomb raid and sell­ing the stolen ar­ti­facts, ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ties. (Photo 4)

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