Police nab three suspects for theft at lamasery

Xinhua, June 24, 2008

XINING, China -- Three men suspected of stealing from a Tibetan Buddhist lamasery in China's northwest Qinghai Province were now in custody, local police said on Monday.

Dong Maoming, Ye Renya and Zhu Zhiping allegedly stole 22 Buddhist statues and two ritual instruments early on June 8 from the Dongdre Lamasery at Chindu County, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, a Qinghai Provincial Department of Public Security spokesman said.

The suspects, all natives of the eastern Jiangsu Province, fled after the theft. They were caught in Dafeng and Yancheng of Jiangsu last week and were taken back to Qinghai on Monday, along with the stolen articles.

The suspects pleaded guilty to stealing cultural relics, the spokesman said.

The case was being further investigated.

The Dongdre Lamasery has a history of more than 700 years and the stolen articles were precious relics, said Dongdre Rinpoche.