Central China police bust tomb robbing ring

14:37, May 07, 2011      

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Police in central China's Henan Province said they had retrieved 109 relics after they broke up a tomb-robbing gang.

The relics, ranging from artifacts from the West Zhou Dynasty (1046 B.C.-771 B.C.) to those from before the founding of the People's Republic of China, included more than 30 items that were later listed as being under state protection, said a spokesman with Longmen Police Station in Henan's Luoyang City.

Police started to hunt for the criminals after a tomb near the world cultural heritage Longmen Grotto was found broken into in November 2010.

The raiders dropped an exquisitely carved stone gate while fleeing from the site, which was later assessed as being under the first-grade state protection.

The gate, about two tonnes in weight, was engraved with exquisite patterns of animals and 46 lotuses. It was made in Tang dynasty (618-907).

By early May, 14 suspects in the 17-member gang had been apprehended, said the spokesman.

Police are hunting for the other three suspects.

Source: Xinhua

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