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Suspected relic thieves detained in Shanxi | Updated: 2016-11-28 14:32

Three suspects accused of stealing cultural relics were detained by police in Shanxi province on Friday following a special investigation.

Two of the men, surnamed Sun and Si, were nabbed in Linfen while the third, surnamed Li, was detained in Changzhi late on Friday, along with tools including a shovel and searchlight.

Large numbers of frescoes, bronze vessels and porcelain were among the recovered relics.

Shanxi depends heavily on cultural relics for tourism as a major driver of its economic development and has more than 270 cultural relics' protection units - the most anywhere in China.

After a series of thefts in Jiexiu city and Pingyao county in October, the provincial government appointed a team of experts to work with Jinzhong police's special investigation unit and retrieve the stolen relics.

Help was also elicited from the public through awareness campaigns and the posting of rewards in local media.

The recovered relics are now in the process of being returned to Jinzhong's cultural relics bureau, the police said.

Li Lei contributed to this story

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