Malaysians working with foreigners to loot WWII wrecks


Diving related news. And maybe a O&G twist.

Dateline 2018-02-27, Malay Mail:

Sunken World War II shipwrecks are being plundered by local salvage firms in cahoots with an international syndicate.

According to The Star newspaper, the scavengers are reportedly looking for low-background metals, uncontaminated by radiation released from nuclear weapons, that are sought after for use in sensitive medical and scientific equipment.

 Evidence of such activities surfaced at an Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology conference in Australia recently, which revealed that 48 naval shipwrecks across Southeast Asia, mainly around Malaysia and Indonesia, were plundered by the syndicate.

Quoting an anonymous source, the report said that the syndicate uses a grab dredger or crane barge to “fish” for parts of the wreckage from the seabed.

The illegal salvage operations were believed to have plundered 19 wrecks in Malaysia, mainly ships sunk during World War II.

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