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November 1, 2013

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Gang charged with looting Ming tombs

FIVE men are being charged with looting Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) tombs in Songjiang District, prosecutors said yesterday.

The five-strong gang is accused of raiding six tombs and stealing nine bronze mirrors and other objects, Songjiang District People’s Procuratorate said.

Six of the mirrors were sold for 2500 yuan (US$410), while the others were retrieved.

The alleged ringleader, a construction worker surnamed Li, discovered a tomb near his workplace when he was climbing Tianma Mountain.

He looted antiques, including a jade pendant, a china cup and three bronze mirrors from the tomb, prosecutors said.

Li sold the pendant online for 700 yuan and decided to create a gang of grave robbers.

He recruited two members from his hometown and sought other accomplices online.

Li recruited two more gang members after posting an online advert claiming he was an antique dealer needing assistance in excavating tombs.

The five broke into tombs on Tianma Mountain and Xiaokun Mountain from June 25 using crowbars and shovels, prosecutors said.

Experts from the Shanghai Museum said the tombs date from the Ming Dynasty.



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