International treasure hunters who have been searching for colonial shipwrecks off the Jamaican coast under a license from the government have declared bankruptcy.
US-based Admiralty Holding Company announced Thursday that it has ceased operations as it has been unable to get funding to continue its search and recovery efforts. A release from Admiralty states that it is in a dire financial condition.
It says as of Wednesday it became legally insolvent and its ships have been seized by creditors.
The release further states that Admiralty Corporation has been notified by its attorney in Jamaica that a conditional license may be granted to perform Verification & Identification of wrecks located on the Pedro Bank.
In September 2003, the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, on behalf of the Government of Jamaica gave the Corporation the green light to begin an underwater archaeological treasure hunt in the Pedro Cays.
The area is a known ship graveyard.
It is believed that some of the richest colonial shipwrecks in the world, laden with gold and silver plus valuable gemstones and artefacts still lie on the ocean floor.
Jamaica was expected to retain 50 per cent of the artefacts and treasures recovered.