Tomb raiders remain a menace

07 Sep 2011 7:55 AM | Anonymous

Tomb raiders remain a menace 

Updated: 2011-09-07 07:28

By Zhang Yan (China Daily)

Professional criminals target vulnerable cultural treasures, Zhang Yan reports from Xi'an.

Tomb raiders remain a menace 

Pan Liusuo, a 48-year-old suspected gang leader from Henan, is detained at the Danfeng county detention house on suspicion of tomb raiding.[Photo/China Daily]

Despite increasing efforts to tackle the illegal traffic in cultural artifacts, every year thieves break into tombs and steal priceless treasures.

These thefts endanger China's cultural heritage as never before, said Wei Yongshun, a senior officer from the Ministry of Public Security's criminal investigation bureau.

"Sheer greed and a fanaticism are behind these crimes," Wei said.

Police investigated 973 cases in 2010 involving cultural artifacts. Of these, 451 related to tomb raids and 387 to theft. From January to June 2010, authorities smashed 71 gangs, detained 787 suspects and recovered 2,366 artifacts, according to ministry figures.

Wei said most tomb raids are committed by gangs

 

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/usa/2011-09/07/content_13636689.htm

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