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Suspects caught in urn blackmail case

POLICE captured two suspects who allegedly stole funerary urns and blackmailed families of the dead.

Police in Taizhou, Zhejiang Province, said the gang, with two members still at large, had extorted nearly 100,000 yuan (US$14,706) from five families, Zhejiang-based Youth Times reported today.

Police began investigating after receiving a report from one of the victims, who used the pseudonym Wang Qiang.

Wang, a boss of an enterprise, buried his mother recently. He received a letter on June 23, asking him to contact the gang via telephone if he wanted to get back his mother's funerary urn, he told police.

Wang called them and was told to deposit 40,000 yuan into their account. The gang threatened to throw away the funerary urn, if he refused to pay, the report said.

Wang paid them and then called police. Police found several similar cases.

During the investigation, police found four suspicious men hanging around a funeral home. They looked out of place as they didn't look sad and they didn't talk to anyone.

Police later found four men also appeared during Wang's mother's funeral. They caught two of them at a long-distance bus station.

The suspects all hail from Henan Province.


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