Guangdong men jailed for stealing corpses to replace bodies in cremations
Two men in South China’s Guangdong Province were jailed for stealing corpses and selling them to local residents to replace the corpses of recently deceased relatives, as government required bodies be cremated.
The criminals, surnamed Chen and Lin, have been handed prison sentences for stealing corpses to replace those of local deceased residents in cremations, according to China Judgements Online, Shanghaibased news site thepaper.cn reported Monday.
Chen was sued by local prosecutors’ office for the crime of stealing corpses in May, and was sentenced to one year and four months in prison on June 28.
In September 2016, Lin Zhixian (pseudonym) planned to pay Chen and Lin 85,000 yuan ($12,340) for a body, so that he could follow instructions in his sister-in-law’s will to have her remains replaced in the cremation process, according to the report.
The replacement was not carried out and a body was dumped in a block field, according to the verdict, the report said.
After the case came to light, another villager turned to Chen and Lin for help to bypass the cremation process for his father, at the price of 165,000 yuan.
During funeral procedures, the family switched the bodies, but their actions were discovered by the funeral home’s management due to the much lower weight of the corpse, said the report.
According to the case filing, the two bodies stolen by Chen and Lin were “completely ossified, the whole body’s soft tissue was dissolved and the bones became brittle,” according to the report of thepeper. cn.
Funeral management regulations have been in place since July 1997 in China, with cremation as the standard, which is in an attempt to preserve land in an already densely-populated country.
The traditional belief that bodies should be buried whole is still prevalent in many regions, especially in rural regions of China.
Cases of bypassing cremation are common in China, according to China Judgements Online.