TAIYUAN, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Four people have been handed jail terms of between four and eleven-and-a-half years for digging up ancient tombs in north China's Shanxi, a province known for its abundant cultural heritage.
They raided several tombs dating back to the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC) since 2010 in Xiawangyin and Sanjiao villages, Jishan County, using shovels and other tools, and made huge profits by selling the stolen artifacts, according to the People's Court of Jishan County.
In October 2016 alone, three members of the gang sold a stolen bronze pot at a price of 1.2 million yuan (about 178,560 U.S. dollars).
More than 1,000 cultural relics have been seized from the gang members.
Shanxi police launched a three-year campaign against cultural relic crimes such as tomb raiding and relic smuggling in 2018. They caught 2,294 suspects and solved 1,456 such cases between 2018 and September 2020.
More than 45,000 historical artifacts were retrieved in the province during the period, according to the provincial public security department. Enditem