via The Straits Times, 27 Feb 2018: New research on the illegal plunder of shipwrecks in Southeast Asian waters highlight the role of Malaysian firms
SE Asia News -PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Some Malaysian salvage firms are working with an international syndicate to plunder sunken wartime wrecks in search for rare and highly-sought low-background steel, used in sensitive medical and scientific equipment.. Read more at straitstimes.com.
Source: Malaysia firms plunder sunken wrecks for rare steel used to make sensitive medical, scientific equipment, SE Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times
via The Guradian, 22 January 2018: The illegal salvage operations in Indonesian waters take a more sombre tone as reports emerge that human remains are being unceremoniously dumped. The second link below is worth taking a look at; it is a more in-depth investigation at the racket and the ships (mostly Chinese and Indonesian) involved.
Illegal metal scavengers accused of disposing of remains from British and Dutch warships
Source: Bodies of second world war sailors in Java sea ‘dumped in mass grave’
via The Conversation, 16 November 2017:
More than 48 shipwrecks have been illicitly salvaged – and the figure may be much higher. Museums can play a key role in the protection of these wrecks, alongside strategic recovery and legislative steps.
Source: The race to save up to 50 shipwrecks from looters in Southeast Asia
The Maritime Executive, 08 May 2017: The Malaysian and Indonesian authorities have detained the MV Chuan Hong 68 and her crew, a vessel which is believed to be illegally looting shipwrecks (including war graves) in Indonesian and Malaysian waters.
MV Chuan Hong
Somebody has been stealing warships from Southeast Asian waters – more specifically, sunken warships, which are prized for their scrap metal value. Indonesian authorities now believe that they have caught one of the perpetrators: they allege that the 8,000 gt Chinese grab dredger Chuan Hong 68 was responsible for illegally scavenging the wrecks of the pre-WWII Japanese destroyer Sagiri, plus the passenger vessels Hiyoshi Maru and Katori Maru, the steamship Igara and the tanker Seven Skies.
It is the second time that maritime authorities have caught the Chuan Hong 68 in as many months. On April 20, the Indonesian Navy detained her in the waters off Natuna in the Riau Islands on the suspicion that she was engaged in illegal dredging. She escaped on April 22 and fled to Malaysia, where she was detained once again by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.
Source: Indonesia Captures Maritime Grave Robbers
Indonesia seeks Interpol’s help to find dredger (Straits Times, 23 April 2017)
The Thieves Who Steal Sunken Warships, Right Down to the Bolts (Outside Online, 02 May 2017)
Indonesia Detains Chinese-flagged Dredger for Looting Sunken Treasure (Netral, 07 May 2017)