Malaysia detains Chinese ship linked to suspected illegal salvage of British WWII wrecks

Malaysian maritime authorities said on Monday that cannon shells believed to date from World War II were found on a Chinese-registered bulk carrier that was detained over the weekend for illegal anchoring in its waters.

The discovery comes amid reports this month that scavengers have attacked two British World War II wrecks off the coast of Malaysia – HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse – which died in 1941, just three days after the devastating attack on Pearl. were sunk by Japanese torpedoes Harbor in Hawaii.

Following reports of the illegal salvage activities, Britain’s National Museum of the Royal Navy said last week it was “concerned and alarmed at the apparent vandalism for personal gain” of the two wrecks.

The Ministry of Defense condemned the “desecration” of military graves at sea, the BBC said on Saturday.

A vessel registered in Fuzhou, China, with 32 crew members on board failed to present an anchor permit during a routine inspection in waters off Malaysia’s southern Johor state on Sunday, the Malaysian Maritime Inspectorate (MMEA) said.

During further checks, the authorities found scrap metal and cannon shells on the ship.

The shells could be linked to a separate seizure by police of several unexploded WWII-era artillery pieces at a jetty in Johor last week.

Authorities believe these may have been recovered from HMS Prince of Wales, the MMEA said, adding it is working with Malaysia’s National Heritage Department and other authorities to identify the ammunition found.

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