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70-year-old monk caught stealing buddha statue and holy books

By Mason White 5:44 PM August 16, 2015
Buddha statue illustration 

By: Feng Qian
A monk was arrested, charged and convicted of theft after stealing a Buddha statue and holy books, prosecutors in Japan said.

Now, 70-year-old Kim Sang-ho of Tsushima, has been sentenced to serve 6 years in prison after being accused of stealing religious articles worth about $900,000.

According to the police investigation, Sang-ho and four other unidentified men stole the Buddha statue and 360 volumes of scriptures from a temple near South Korea.

The monk was accused of being the mastermind behind the theft. The copper statue, which is about 4 inches tall, was a gift from the ninth century Korean kingdom.

The five were arrested after the statue was put up for sale in South Korea.

The government asked South Korea to return the stolen statue, but they refused, saying that Japanese pirates stole it from their country several hundred years ago.