Two alleged tomb raiders, accused of stealing cultural relics from a famous ancient tomb in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, were in custody and being questioned by local police yesterday.
Police sources said yesterday they hoped to identify other accomplices in their inquiries.
The two men were arrested early Tuesday morning by police in Xianyang, close to Xi'an, capital city of Shaanxi Province, for allegedly robbing the ancient Changling Tomb.
Liu Bang, the first emperor of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC to 24 AD), is buried in Changling Tomb.
A total of 22 warrior figures on horseback and nearly a thousand fragments of everyday utensils from the Han period were seized from the tomb raiders.
Also seized were tools used by the tomb raiders, such as a searchlight and hanging basket.
The colorful warrior figures stand 30-40 centimeters high, said a source with the surname Chen at the public security bureau of the Weicheng District in Xianyang.
He said police were questioning the two suspects with the hope of uncovering their accomplices. Chen said his bureau and the local cultural relics bureau attached great importance to protecting cultural relics in the district, where there are several Han tombs.
(China Daily January 17, 2003)