Guang­dong men jailed for steal­ing corpses to re­place bod­ies in cre­ma­tions

Global Times US Edition - - FOCUS -

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.

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