Uk investigates fresh reviews of looting of sunken army ships

Uk investigates fresh reviews of looting of sunken army ships
 The battleship HMS Repulse was sunk by Japanese aircraft off the coast of Singapore in 1941. Photograph: PA/PA Archive/PA Images

Gavin Williamson says he’s going to paintings intently with Indonesia and Malaysia over claims 2d international battle ships have been plundered

The authorities is investigating sparkling reports that a number of British 2d international war wrecks in Asia have been plundered by way of grave robbers.

The Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said he turned into “very concerned” to hear allegations that stays of four ships lying off the Malaysian and Indonesian coasts have been looted.

It comes after six wrecks, such as Royal navy battleships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, had been feared to had been damaged or destroyed with the aid of scavengers.

Altogether the wrecks are idea to be the final resting place for masses of Royal military sailors and civilians.

Williams stated the authorities “truly condemns” the unauthorised disturbance of any ruin containing human remains.

“i’m very worried to hear any allegations of incidents of Royal military wrecks being plundered inside the far East,” he said.

“we can paintings closely with the Indonesian and Malaysian governments to research these claims.”

The Mail on Sunday said wrecks of HMS Tien Kwang, HMS Kuala, HMS Banka and SS Loch Ranza had recently been focused with the aid of thieves for their metallic.

HMS Tien Kwang, a submarine chaser, and HMS Kuala, an auxiliary patrol vessel, had been sporting masses of evacuees after they had been attacked by way of eastern bombers near the Indonesian Riau Islands in February 1942.

In advance that month the SS Loch Ranza, a shipment deliver, were set on fireplace in a japanese air raid off the Riau Islands and exploded, killing seven men.

It came after HMS Banka, a minesweeper, sank after hitting a mine off the coast of Malaysia in December 1941, killing its crew of four British officers and 34 Malay sailors.

Looters are stated to favour concentrated on the second one world warfare-era wrecks due to the deliver metal’s homes.

In 2014, the ships, the ultimate resting places of extra than 830 Royal military sailors, were found to had been damaged through scavengers.