Corpse brides

Chinese officials have arrested four people after they dug up the graves of women to sell as ghost brides.

China - Four people have been jailed for digging up corpses to sell as brides for traditional "ghost marriages".

The corpses are buried next to dead single men so they can experience marital bliss in the afterlife.

Marriage is an important part of Chinese society and, while the practice is increasingly rare, it is still kept up by some families whose young adult sons pass away before having a chance to wed.

The group allegedly stole female corpses and after cleaning them, fabricated medical files for the deceased and sold them for a high price.

A court in the northern province of Shaanxi had in recent days sentenced the four to terms between 28 and 32 months, adding they "took advantage" of the "bad tradition" of ghost marriages in parts of Shaanxi and neighbouring Shanxi province.

The deceased couples are typically buried side by side after a wedding ceremony of sorts.

The gang made a total of 240,000 yuan ($39,000) from the sales of 10 corpses.

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