Mystery as wrecks of three Dutch WWII ships vanish from Java seabed

There are fears the sunken vessels off Indonesia, which are the graves of 2,200 people, may have been salvaged for metal

An international investigation has been launched into the mysterious disappearance of three Dutch second world war shipwrecks which have vanished from the bottom of the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia.

The Netherlands defence ministry has confirmed that the wrecks of two of its warships which sunk in 1942 have completely gone, while large parts of a third are also missing.

The US military found two years ago that there had been an “unauthorised disturbance of the grave site” of the USS Houston, which sunk in the Battle of Sunda Strait, also in the Java Sea. It is the grave for nearly 650 sailors and marines.

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