China-Registered Ship Detained in Malaysia with World War Two Cannon Shells Onboard

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A China-registered bulk carrier ship has been detained by Malaysian maritime authorities after it was found anchoring in Malaysian waters without permission. During a routine inspection, authorities discovered cannon shells believed to be from World War Two onboard the vessel.

This finding comes in the wake of recent reports of illegal salvage operations targeting two British World War Two wrecks, the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, off the coast of Malaysia. The scavenging of these wrecks, which were sunk by Japanese torpedoes in 1941, has sparked outrage and concern. The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Britain expressed distress over the apparent vandalism for personal profit. Malaysia’s defense ministry has condemned the desecration of these maritime military graves. Further investigation revealed that the cannon shells found on the detained ship could potentially be connected to a separate seizure of unexploded World War Two-era artillery at a Johor jetty.

Authorities suspect that these artillery pieces were scavenged from the wreck of the HMS Prince of Wales. To identify the ammunition found, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency is collaborating with Malaysia’s National Heritage Department and other relevant agencies. The discovery of these cannon shells underscores the ongoing issue of illegal salvage operations and the need for heightened protection of historical wrecks. Authorities are working diligently to prevent further desecration and ensure that these maritime military sites are preserved for their historical significance.

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