World Bulletin/News Desk
Two officials in China have been arrested for buying corpses from grave robbers to fulfil government quotas on cremation, state news agency Xinhua reported Monday.
The discovery of the scheme came after a grave robber was arrested in July and revealed he had sold more than 20 corpses to officials in Gaozhou City and Huazhou City in China’s southern Guangdong province, the agency said.
The robber said he had stolen the bodies from villages around Beiliu City, Guangxi province, at night and transported them by motorcycle to neighboring Guangdong.
The two officials, who were in charge of funeral management reform, are said to have told police they bought the corpses to fulfil the cremation quota, part of a campaign to reduce land use for burials that has caused disquiet in rural areas.
China has a long tradition of ancestor worship that requires families bury relatives in often ornate tombs. Disturbing the dead is believed to bring bad luck.
Following the introduction of the cremation quota, many bereaved started burying their loved ones in secrecy.
Police said one official had bought 10 corpses for 3,000 yuan ($490) each while the other paid around half that figure per body.
Xinhua said villagers from Guangxi had reported excavated graveyards and stolen bodies in recent years.
Last Mod: 03 Kasım 2014, 16:01