Tomb raiders strike again in Sarawak, desecrating graves to steal valuables


MIRI: Tomb-raiders broke open coffins buried inside tombs at a Christian cemetery in Miri and stole personal valuables that were buried with the deceased.

A youth lodged a police report at 9.30am on Monday (Sept 23), after discovering his grandfather's grave, plus the surrounding tombs, smashed open and desecrated.

Miri police chief Asst Comm Lim Meng Seah said the youth was visiting his grandfather's tomb, when he discovered the horrendous acts.

"Numerous personal items of value buried with the deceased were stolen by those who broke open the tombs," he said.

The police are investigating the latest grave robberies and are checking with the next-of-kin of the deceased to find out what sort of personal items were buried.

Cases of grave-robbery in Sarawak targeting buried coffins in cemeteries have happened numerous times before.

These robbers smash cemented tombs and break open coffins to steal valuables that are sometimes buried together with the dead.

Usually, these robbers carry out their activities in the late night or early morning hours.

In Sarawak, it is still a traditional practice among certain ethnic groups to bury personal items such as jewellery and heirlooms inside the coffins of family members upon their demise.

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