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China incarcerates 26 for looting tombs and trafficking relics

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China incarcerates 26 for looting tombs and trafficking relics

Beijing, Feb 8 (Prensa Latina) A Chinese court sentenced a gang of 26 people to jail for looting ancient tombs since 2012 and trafficking over 1,500 objects found in them, media outlets reported.

According to the Global Times newspaper, a court in the Shandong province sentenced the head of the group to 12 years in prison and a fine of 55,000 yuan ($8,111 dolars) for illegally digging up cultural sites.

Another 25 members of the gang received between three and 11 years in prison, plus fines of up to 50,000 yuan ($7,372 dolars) for the same crime.

Investigations revealed that the individuals, after learning of the discovery of jade in an abandoned place in the city of Tengzhou, secretly dug a hole along a river and by chance found the first seven bronze objects, which they sold to an antique dealer for 1.2 million yuan (176,800 dollars).

They also continued to desecrate tombs and historical sites across the country, removing more than 1,500 iron and bronze relics from periods including the Western Han (206BC-AD25), Ming (1368-1644), and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

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