KOTA TINGGI: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has found about 100 World War II cannon balls believed to be still active on a cargo ship from China, which was detained on Sunday.

Johor Maritime director First Admiral (Maritime) Nurul Hizam Zakaria said the discovery resulted from the collaboration between the agency and the police, the Marine Department of Malaysia as well as the Department of National Heritage.

He said the operation which started at 8 am and ended at 4pm today involved two MMEA assets together with 15 personnel, 12 police personnel from the Johor Police Contingent Headquarters bomb disposal unit, seven staff members of the Department of National Heritage and one from the Marine Department of Malaysia.

“We do not rule out the possibility that this ship registered in Fuzhou, China is involved in the theft of old British warship wrecks in Pahang waters... all the ammunition of various sizes that were found were secured by the bomb disposal unit to be destroyed,“ he said in a statement today.

Nurul Hizam also said further reports related to the discovery will be issued by the police.

Bernama reported that a cargo ship had anchored without authorisation and was believed to be carrying cannon shells at 20.1 nautical miles east of Tanjung Siang here on Sunday.

Media outlets have also recently reported that a foreign salvage ship was conducting an illegal operation to salvage steel from a British warship that sank in Kuantan waters. - Bernama