A diver who failed to correctly declare where he found historic cannons dating back to the 1600s has pleaded guilty to fraud in excess of £46,000.
Vincent Woolsgrove from Ramsgate in Kent, said he had found three 24lb cannons off North Foreland which were originally from the City of Amsterdam.
The cannons were originally part of a battery of 36 produced in Amsterdam to protect the city in the early part of the 17th century and assigned to Dutch ships during the first Anglo-Dutch war in 1652 – 54.
Woolsgrove was originally awarded the title of the three cannons as the Maritime and Coastguard Agency was unable to prove at that time that they were property of the crown.
The cannons were sold at auction to an American buyer for a sum in excess of £50,000 and are now part of a private collection in Florida.
However, a joint operation in 2011 by the MCA, Kent & Essex police and Historic England (formerly English Heritage), found fresh information about heritage crime.