This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Colombia Concedes Point On Spanish Galleon Salvage While Resisting Claim

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lawyers representing the government of Colombia (GOC) admitted in U.S. court on March 25th that Sea Search Armada (SSA), an undersea salvage company engaged in a long-running suit with Colombia, was the rightful owner of 50 percent of the proceeds of perhaps the most valuable sunken treasure in history.  This is the first time representatives of the government have conceded this point in over 30 years of legal wrangling.

The admission came in oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Washington, D.C. over the validity of SSA's suit.  While still disputing SSA's claim, the GOC lawyer clarified that any part of the treasure, were it to be recovered and be identified as Columbian – described as the country's patrimony – would not be shared.

The ship in question is the San Jose, one of several Spanish galleons sunk off the coast of Colombia in 1708 during a war between Spain and Britain.  Estimated to be carrying over two tons of platinum along with substantial quantities of gold and emeralds, the current value of the treasure is estimated to be in excess of $17 billion.

SSA and the GOC initially were partners in exploring for the wreck which was discovered in 1981.  At that time, Colombia was following international custom and had agreed it would split the proceeds with SSA if the wreck were found.  Members of the Colombian Navy accompanied the search.  (Under well established maritime law, it is customary for countries to grant salvage rights in exchange for half of the proceeds.)

The SSA team located the San Jose in more than 800 feet of water about five miles off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia.  Because of the cost and complexity of the salvage, time was required to arrange for investors and the specialized equipment.

Before the specialized salvage could be initiated, however, the Colombian government decided it would ignore the original agreement and would claim all of the treasure except for a 5% finder's fee.  Subsequent GOC presidents supported the confiscation, later ruled illegal by the Colombian Constitutional Court and Supreme Court.  However, the GOC has ignored the ruling.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,024.06 +183.54 1.03%
S&P 500 2,108.29 +22.78 1.09%
NASDAQ 5,005.3910 +63.9670 1.29%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs