Saturday 7 June 2014

Indonesia, more Wreck Looters Caught, Items Seized

The Indonesian Navy have arrested 10 divers allegedly trying to steal from shipwrecks recently during a routine patrol on Tuesday evening in Karang Haliputan waters, Tanjung Pinang. Five of the divers were Vietnamese nationals, while five others were Indonesian. In the past year the Navy had captured three gangs who were trying to steal sunken objects in the area.
“Most of them pretended to be fishermen and most were Vietnamese nationals who worked hand-in-hand with Indonesians. The Vietnamese usually dive underwater to check the location of the shipwreck,” Harjo added. Indonesia is home to 463 sunken vessels, eight of which are around the Riau Islands. In March, as many as 3,680 pieces of earthenware were found when the Special Police for the Management of Coastal Areas and Small Islands confiscated them from a group of divers off Numbing Island (also in the Riau Islands).
There are now problems what to do with all the seized items which have to go to the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry’s warehouses. The agency is facing difficulties in paying maintenance costs for these items. Calls have been made to auction off some of the objects, after the group has been studied and a representative sample kept for further research or as museum exhibits.

'Indonesian Navy Arrest 10 Divers For Looting Shipwrecks', scubaverse from the Jakarta Post.

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