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szdaily -> Kaleidoscope -> 
Mystery over severed hands found in Russia grows

    2018-03-26  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

MORE than two weeks after the grisly discovery of 54 severed human hands in Russia, officials admit no one knows whose limbs they are — despite an ‘intensive’ investigation.

The macabre find was made in a bag dumped on an Amur River island close to the city of Khabarovsk.

As a result of the probe, the authorities revealed they chopped off hands from a staggering 410 unidentified corpses last year before the bodies were buried.

The morbid procedure dating from Stalin times allows them to later identify who has died from fingerprints, it was reported.

But the Khabarovsk authorities flatly denied that the 54 severed hands washed up on the island — and pictured in the snow — were anything to do with them.

Anatoly Nesterov, chief of the region’s forensic bureau, said:

“We receive unidentified bodies. Last year there were 410 of them.

“Pathologists chop off wrists and pass them to police experts, who take their fingerprints.

“Next, the chopped hands are passed to a morgue where they are stored along with other biological material.

“Once the weight of the biological waste reaches 50 or 60 kilograms, it is disposed of” — by burial or cremation.

No disposals have been made since 2015 and the find of the 54 severed hands “has nothing to do with” the forensic service, said officials.

Top Russian forensic expert Professor Yuri Pigolkin expressed surprise that the region was chopping hands off unidentified corpses since fingerprints could be taken from the dead bodies.

Local law enforcement announced after the find that there was nothing “criminal” in the discovery of 54 hands — but now it is unclear.

It is also still uncertain if these are 27 pairs or 54 individual hands. The grotesque collection was laid out in the snow as evidence by Russian police in a shocking photograph.

Another theory is that the hands were “severed from recently dead corpses which had been plundered for body parts — to hide the identity of victims used in this black market trade,” according to The Siberian Times.

One more version was that it could be the work of the Yakuza, a transnational organized crime syndicate originating in Japan, or a Chinese mafia gang. The island where the hands were discovered was just 30 km downstream from the point where the Amur forms the frontier with China.

(SD-Agencies)

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