The thieves use dynamite and even bulldozers to break into the deepest chambers – and night vision goggles and oxygen canisters to search them. The artefacts they take are often sold on within days to international dealers.
Police have already stepped up their campaign against the criminals and the government is devoting extra resources to protecting sites and tracing offenders. This year it set up a national information centre to tackle such crimes.
Story: Tania Branigan, The Guardian | Photo: AP