Spain’s Police in hunt for sunken treasure

Kwaito musician and TKZee member Tokollo ‘Magesh’ dies 'in his sleep' aged 45. Image: @BongzaLa/Twitter

THE Guardia Civil is stepping up surveillance on diving clubs. In an effort to protect the historical artifacts that have been discovered by divers at underwater archeological sites, the Guardia Civil has been carrying out checks on local diving clubs and groups in 17 Spanish Provinces.

Agents have carried out close to 300 inspections and recovered two anchors that were more than 2,000 years old, some amphoras from the first century and they have discovered a sunken galleon that was previously unknown.

More than 1,500 officers took part in the first phase of ‘Operation Amphora’ and it involved checks on fishing boats and ports as well as clubs.

Some items are ‘accidently’ taken by fishermen who inadvertently recover items in their nets during normal fishing activities. Items should be returned to the State for investigation as part of the history of Spain.

But many pieces are being kept or sold and are lost forever. The Ministry of the Interior has launched a plan for the Defence of Historical Spanish Heritage especially concerned with any items found in the sea, and are working closely with The National Museum of Sub aquatic Archaeology, ARQUA, which helps to authenticate the items found.

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