China busts 10 tomb-raiding gangs

CNC
Added On May 28, 2015

Chinese police have busted 10 tomb-raiding gangs and arrested 175 suspects in a recent operation. 
 
More than 1,100 cultural relics have been recovered.
 
The Ministry of Public Security says this is the biggest swoop of its kind since the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949.
 
According to the Ministry of Public Security, the looted artifacts are worth more than 80 million U.S. dollars in total.
 
The pieces include a coiled jade dragon, one of the earliest known totems in China.
   
The tomb raiders are suspected of illegal excavations in Niuheliang(牛河梁) in the northeastern province of Liaoning. The site goes back over 5,000 years.
 
The Ministry of Public Security said tomb-raiding has seriously damaged the site.
 
SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): DENG MAO, Suspect
"I acted on impulse. I wanted to make money and buy a house. I once worked with a relics research center and I regretted over what I had done." 
      
Police say the suspects belong to 10 gangs, which are highly structured. 
 

More than 1,000 police officers have participated in the operation.