Ming porcelain

German treasure hunters find 7 million euros in pirate booty

Team of treasure hunters

From The Local

A Dresden real estate investor and his partner have raised €7 million worth of gold, silver and other artefacts from a sunken pirate ship off the coast of Borneo.

The pirate ship Forbes sank off the coast of Borneo in 1806. Dresden resident Martin Wenzel and his partner Klaus Keppler spent €3 million of their own money over the past two years trawling the tropical waters for loot from the Forbes and other vessels, the newspaper reported.

“Up until now, we’ve searched 35 wrecks, two had valuable cargo. Now the costs for our three salvage ships, 50 man crew, the licences and all that, are covered,” Wenzel told Bild.

The haul from the Forbes turned up 1.5 tonnes of silver coins, gold jewellery, cannons, crystal and Ming porcelain. The newspaper reported that the coins alone are worth at least €7 million.

“At first, everything on the ocean floor looks encrusted and worthless. But when you hold the treasure in your hands, it’s an indescribable rush of adrenaline. You’re witness to times past,” Wenzel told Bild.