Greek police announced they have arrested three local men on the Aegean island of Kalymnos for allegedly stealing ancient shipwrecks and removing more than two dozen intact pottery vases.
In a statement made on Monday, police said the antiquities dated from the 4th Century B.C. to the late Middle Ages. They were mostly amphoras — pointy-bottomed two-handled jars used to transport wine, olive oil and other foodstuffs in ancient cargo ships.
The suspects were arrested in their homes on Sunday, police said, adding that after searching their properties, they also found a fishing boat the men allegedly used to locate and raise the pots, which has since been confiscated.
Ancient shipwrecks, often complete with their cargos, are common in Greek seas and some can be visited by divers. But all antiquities are considered state property, and their removal is prohibited.
The monuments will be handed over to the Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos and the three men will appear in court on the island of Kos, for violating Greek law on the protection of antiquities and cultural heritage.