LONDON (AP) — Britain says it will work with Indonesia and Malaysia to investigate reports that the wrecks of ships sunk during World War II have been plundered by pirates.
The shipwrecks hold the remains of hundreds of sailors and civilians and are considered war graves.
The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported that the wrecks of four ships in waters off Malaysia and Indonesia had been looted for scrap metal. Several other British shipwrecks in the region have previously been plundered.
The four vessels include HMS Tien Kwang and the HMS Kuala, which were carrying evacuees when they were attacked by Japanese bombers in 1942.
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Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said he was “very concerned” by the allegations. He said Britain “will work closely with the Indonesian and Malaysian governments to investigate these claims.”