Yao Yuzhong made a handsome living in Inner Mongolia, by robbing ancient tombs and selling the looted artefacts.
He was the leader of a gang, 22 members of which have been sentenced to various terms of prison; Yao was sentenced to death, with a two-year reprieve, which normally means life imprisonment.
They were particularly fond of digging ancient burial sites at the Niuheliang in Liaoning province, a site that is more than 5,000 years old.
Tomb raiding has a long history in China, the earliest references to it being from the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
Today it’s big business and some local experts suggest there could be as many as 100,000 tomb raiders currently operating in China.
Picture source: Miuki via Wikimedia Commons