Biggest-ever tomb raid robbers nabbed
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)