FURIOUS locals have blasted treasure-hunters for digging holes in their gardens in a frantic search for Nazi loot worth millions.
It’s believed watches, diamonds, and other valuable items of jewellery were stolen after the Nazis raided a bank in the Dutch city of Arnhem – and hidden in the Betuwe region of Gelderland.
A hand-drawn map, complete with a red X to mark the spot, was part of a case file of secret papers made available after 78 years.
And the sketch suggests the treasure is buried somewhere between the Dutch villages of Ommeren and Linden.
But fed-up locals in the village are now dealing with a massive influx of visitors, desperate to get their hands on the treasure.
Villagers have said there is evidence of fresh excavations in Ommeren – with newly dug holes scattered across farmland and forests.
Gold diggers have descended on the village with shovels and metal detectors in a bid to find the World War Two haul.
And local Petra van Dee, 42, said she is furious with the Dutch National Archive for releasing the treasure map.
“I cannot sleep. One of the holes they dug in my garden came up to here,” she told the BBC as she gestured to her chest.
She said her neighbours have been woken up by strangers with flashlights strapped to their heads as they dig up their lawns after dark.
“Stay away from other people’s property, you have nothing to look for here,” Petra fumed.
Another villager, Sander, said people have been knocking on his door, asking for directions to the treasure trove.
He said he also saw a group of young people digging.
Local Jan Henzen, 57, added: “I see groups of people with metal detectors everywhere.
“Like a lot of people, the news about the treasure made me go look for myself.
“The chance of the treasure still being here after 70 years is very small I think, but I want to give it a try.”
Former Ommeren mayor Klaas Tammes, who now runs the foundation that owns the lands that might hide the treasure, said he has seen people from all over the country.
“A map with a row of three trees and a red cross marking a spot where a treasure should be hidden sparks the imagination,” he said.
“Anyone who finds anything will have to report it to us, so we’ll see.
“But I wouldn’t expect it to be easy.”
It’s rumoured that the loot was hidden in ammunition boxes – which were then buried in the village.
Annet Waalkens, of the National Archives, told a Dutch broadcaster: “During the defence of Arnhem, there was an explosion at a branch of the Rotterdamsche Bank on the Velperweg.
“German soldiers put loot in their coats at the scene.”
Dutch authorities believe that if the treasure trove did ever exist, it’s probably long gone.
National Archive spokeswoman Anne-Marieke Samson said: “We don’t know for sure if the treasure existed.
“But the institute did a lot of checks and found the story reliable.
“But they never found it and if it existed, the treasure might very well have been dug up already.”
The Netherlands reportedly brought a Nazi officer back to the country to try to find it – but it wasn’t successful.
And some villagers believe the case of the Nazi treasure is simply a myth.
The local council is said to be looking at introducing measures to stop treasures hunters from coming to the area.