British diver arrested 'souvenir hunting' on Costa Concordia wreck

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A British diver has been arrested after being caught red-handed hunting for souvenirs on the Costa Concordia shipwreck.

The 42-year-old man was one of four caught, with the others being an Irish man and two South Africans.

All four men were staff who worked for the salvage group Titan, which had been employed to raise the Concordia from the seabed in Giglio.

The men were spotted by CCTV cameras in the early hours of Saturday morning, and a boat was sent to investigate.

They were found with an empty rucksack bearing the cruise ship's company logo, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Lt Elisabette Spoti, of the paramilitary carabinieri police, told the Daily Mail: "They were caught red handed with the ruck sack and the suspicion is they were trying to take items from the ship as souvenirs. They should not have been anywhere near the vessel as it is still a crime scene and as such sealed off."

They were found by deck 8 of the 13-deck ship, an area which was home to executive state rooms containing safes. The men were arrested and have been bailed until they appear in court accused of theft and breaching a sealed crime zone.

Titan has dismissed the four men from the salvage operation and a spokesman told the Daily Mail that the men were found on the ship at 1.30am without permission in a zone that is off limits, adding the matter was now "in the hands of the local authorities".

The Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy near the island of Giglio on 13 January 2012 , killing 32 people.

The captain of the Concordia, Francesco Schettino, is on trail for alleged manslaughter, causing shipwreck and abandoning the ship during the evacuation.

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