Divers’ group says SBMA men involved in looting wreck

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SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—A group of divers has accused the harbor patrol unit of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) of taking part in looting a shipwreck here.

Scott Sharpe, president of Subic Bay Divers Association (SBDA), said they had secured video footage, photographs and witnesses that linked the SBMA harbor patrol men to the looting.

Sharpe said divers from his group had witnessed how members of the harbor patrol unit defended unlicensed shipwreck salvage operators instead of “arresting them.”

SBDA gathered evidence of unlicensed salvage operations that took place about 200 meters from the shoreline of Grande Island on March 19 and 20.

On March 20, police caught five men picking through a wrecked ship near the island. The suspects, who were released, were later charged with looting.

“We felt the urgency to collect proper evidence… but some members of the harbor patrol unit blocked our divers from the wreck site,” Sharpe said. Allan Macatuno, Inquirer Central Luzon

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