Published: 09:00, 30 January 2017 |
Updated: 10:11, 30 January 2017
Two men have been charged after a number of historical artefacts were allegedly stolen from a sunken Royal Navy warship.
Nigel Ingram, of Swale, and John Blight, of East Sussex, will appear in court next month after the items were reportedly taken from HMS Hermes, which sits at the bottom of the sea near Dover.
The vessel was sunk by a German submarine in October 1914, killing 44 of those onboard.
HMS Hermes was a protected cruiser built in the late 19th century and converted into an aircraft ferry and depot ship ready for the outbreak of the First World War.
Officers launched an investigation back in 2015 after the items were reported missing from the wreck.
Blight, 57, Old River Way, Winchelsea, has now been charged with three counts of dishonestly failing to disclose items of wreck to the Receiver of Wreck with intent to make a gain.
Ingram, 56, of London Road, Teynham, has been charged with the same three counts in addition to being in possession of £16,000 worth of criminal property.
They have both been bailed to appear before Margate magistrates on Thursday, March 2.
The investigation into the alleged offences was carried out in partnership with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Marine Management Organisation, the Receiver of Wreck, Sussex Police, Historic England and the French authorities.
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