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Alleged smuggler tried to remove Chinese relics

By Huang Yuli (China Daily)

13:35, August 02, 2012

Customs officers examine the cultural relics they seized from a Japanese man at Huanggang Port in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on Tuesday. (Jiang Xin / for China Daily)

Shenzhen customs officials have caught a Japanese man allegedly trying to take 58 precious Chinese cultural relics out of the country.

The Huanggang Port customs, which is affiliated with Shenzhen customs, said on Tuesday that the items it seized from a Japanese passenger on June 23 were confirmed precious relics by the Guangdong Provincial Relics Identification Station, and that for 57 of the 58 items, it was illegal to take them out of China.

The relics include 55 books from 1869-1890 of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), including works by famous historian Qian Daxin, writer and historian Wang Shizhen and thinker and historian Gu Yanwu. There was also a gold-overlaid iron incense burner with hollowing patterns, and a copper boat-shape lamp with flower and bird patterns, both from the late 19th century, and a silver pot with loop handle from the early 20th century.

Customs officer Zeng Ying said that at about 10:30 am on June 23, a man passing through the passenger inspection hall intending to leave with two very large suitcases caught her attention.

"The man was in his 50s, medium tall, and was dressed normally," she said. "When we asked him to put his cases on the X-ray machine, he said he didn't understand Chinese, so we communicated in English, and we found he was a Japanese passenger as we checked his passport," she said.

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