Sting in criminal tale

Two men who stole three rare stingrays worth 2 million yuan (US$297,732) were sentenced to up to 11 years in jail.

Two men who stole three rare stingrays worth 2 million yuan (US$297,732) have been jailed and fined up to 60,000 yuan, the Jinshan District People's Court said on Thursday.

One was sentenced to 10 years in jail, the other 11.

Two accomplices were sentenced to up to six years in jail, with fines between 10,000 and 12,000 yuan.

One of the victims, surnamed Zhou, reported to police on February 28, 2016, that three stingrays he was raising at a temple in Jinshan District with a friend had been stolen.

He told police they were raising more than 20 stingrays in a room of the temple. Three of the most expensive stingrays had gone missing. They had bought them for 3.6 million yuan.

After an investigation, local police targeted the chief culprit Liu and others as suspects and followed them online. They were apprehended between 2017 and 2018.

Liu told police he used to be a fish store owner and knew the price of different species.

He noticed the stingrays in the tanks when he visited the temple in 2016 and tried to get them. 

He asked another man, Ma, to steal the fish for him and promised him a large payment. Ma and his accomplices stole the three stingrays at dawn on February 28.

However, the stingrays died en route to Shandong Province and were buried.

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