Treasure-hunters ordered to pay Spain over found gold

Published on June 4th, 2009 | by Admin


US treasure-hunters have been ordered to hand back more than $400 million worth of gold and silver coins salvaged from a Spanish shipwreck in Atlantic waters.

The Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration recovered 17 tons of gold and silver from a sunken vessel they code-named the “Black Swan” in March 2007. The Nasdaq-listed company refused to reveal the location of the wreck insisting that it had been found in international waters and therefore beyond the legal jurisdiction of any one country.

But when the record haul was announced Spain came to suspect the treasure had been looted from the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, a Spanish frigate laden with bullion from the Americas that sunk by the British off the coast of Portugal in October 1804.

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