Police stop scavenging

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Police attempted to put a stop to the looting of washed-up cargo from the stricken MSC Naopli last night.

Officers were escorting scavengers off the Branscombe Beach through the night after reports of tussles between the looters and those trying to kick-start the clean-up operation. 

Since the ship was damaged on Saturday, January 20, 2007, people have been retrieving anything they can get their hands on, including a number of BMW motorcycles.

And police have been made aware that items taken from the containers are already appearing on the internet.

The beach has now been fenced off to make life easier for those cleaning the area damaged by the cargo and oil which is pouring out of the damaged ship.

A spokesman from Devon and Cornwall Police has warned looters not to bother trying to take anything else from the wreckage.

The spokesman said:  “People on the beach who have any property in their possession will be asked to declare it before they leave and fill in the relevant forms or hand the property to the Receiver of Wreck.”

“If they refuse to do either of these requests they could be arrested for theft.”

Rob Hull

By Rob Hull