A group of robbers raided a cemetery in Henan province last week, stealing urns in order to blackmail the families of the deceased.
According to Mrs. Liu, one of the blackmail victims, whose husband died early this year, Hongshan Cemetery in Xinyan city called her last Thursday, to say that her late husband’s tomb had been ransacked and his urn was found missing.
After she arrived at her husband’s tomb, she found that a nearby tomb had also been burglarized and a phone number had been left on ransacked tombs.
When Mrs.Liu called the number, the person that answered asked for a ransom of 20,000 yuan ($3,136) for the safe return of her husband’s urn.
The family of the other looted tomb transferred the 20,000 yuan to the robbers. However, the gang demanded more money and gave no information about the whereabouts of the urn. In response, the family called the police.
Henan police say that the culprits could be a gang of organized criminals who travel around the country and break into tombs whenever they find the opportunity.
In China, grave robbing can be a dangerous, but lucrative business if you don’t mind getting a little dirty.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via iFeng]