Kuala Lumpur (dpa) – Seventeen suspected Vietnamese treasure hunters were arrested by Malaysian navy sailors while allegedly diving for relics from sunken ships, a report said Saturday.
The suspects were arrested Thursday in the waters off Tanjung Gelang town in the state of Pahang, about 200 kilometres north-east of Kuala Lumpur, the Star newspaper said.
Two British warships sank in the area 1941, after the vessels were bombed by Japanese forces during World War II.
“The crew, with exception of the captain, were found with no valid identification documents on them,” the newspaper quoted navy Lieutenant Commander Faizzal Ali as saying. “Several of the crew members were in the midst of diving when the arrest was made.”
Faizzal said the suspects and their vessel were turned over to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency for further action.