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Officials caught buying corpses from grave robbers to meet cremation quota

By Mason White 4:05 PM November 6, 2014
Graveyard illustration 

By: Chan Yuan
Two officials are under fire for buying stolen corpses from grave robbers in order to keep their jobs.

The two officials were in charge of funeral management reform in the Guangdong Province of China.

The government has promoted a controversial policy that encourages cremation over burials in order to save the land for agriculture and development.

Faced with a quota to meet, and a population who is still resistant to the idea, the officials became sneaky and bought bodies from grave robbers.

The two officials were arrested for purchasing more than 20 bodies, which grave robbers stole during the night from graveyards.

One official, who was identified as Dong, paid 3,000 yuan (about $490) for each of the 10 corpses he bought, while the other official named He, who seemed to be a better negotiator, paid only 1,500 yuan ($245) for each corpse he bought.

Police in Beiliu, learned about the official misconduct after they arrested a grave robber named Zhong. He confessed to stealing about 20 corpses.

He told police that he sold the corpses to the government workers, which led police to investigate the officials.

Locals have been ignoring the new cremation regulations and are burying their dead family members in secret.

Earlier this year, six elderly people in Anhui, committed suicide to make sure they are buried before the regulation of cremation took effect.