Four South Koreans held over theft of Tsushima Buddhist statue


Four South Korean men were taken into police custody Monday on suspicion of stealing a Buddha statue from a temple in Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, local police said.

The four men, whose ages range from 47 to 70, allegedly committed several thefts of local cultural assets as a team, the police said. Their immediate charge is the theft Monday morning of a Buddha statue from a temple in the town of Mitsushima on the island, which is located in the Sea of Japan midway between the two countries.

The 11-cm-tall statue is designated as the city’s cultural asset.

The theft was initially reported by a monk of the temple, the police said. Then the police spotted the four men at a nearby port and arrested them after finding the stolen statue among their belongings.

In recent years, Tsushima’s Buddha statues have become the targets of South Korean thieves. In February 2013, a South Korean court ordered the return of two stolen statues to Tsushima after they were taken from a shrine and a temple on the island.

  • zer0_0zor0

    Hmm, simultaneously sad and reprehensible.

    Aren’t they mostly evangelical Christians in South Korea? If they want to learn about Buddhism, they should invite some Japanese monks with wood carving skills…

  • timefox

    Four South Koreans could not become a hero in South Korea.
    I would like to believe that experience robbed of the Buddha statue two years ago arrested these thieves.