UK FOIA shows Odyssey committed 4 violations at HMS Victory
- On 20/12/2014
- In Illegal Recoveries
From Seeking Alpha
Most interesting is that OMEX was found to have violated the MMO's rules on 4 separate items. As this was a first offense in the UK and the UK is unable (for jurisdictional reasons) to use
the non-UK evidence such as the Mercedes/Black Swan judgment against OMEX, the sanction was to issue an official warning letter rather than to prosecute. In addition according to the UK
compliance and enforcement strategy this light sanction was used to save the government costs of dealing with a further court case.
Importantly - this is now officially in OMEX's record and will make any future violations MUCH riskier. Given the bull case for the HMS Victory is from selling artifacts that belonged to
passengers or other "trade goods" (a term not officially legally defined) which appears to be in violation of the UNESCO Annex, this new official warning letter puts a much higher level of
scrutiny on OMEX if they tread around the edges of the rules. In fact, a second FOIA indicates that OMEX will likely require an independent government archeologist to monitor their conduct
at the site.
According to searches on the MMO website, we still cannot find a license application submitted yet by OMEX or the MHF for the HMS Victory work. We understand there is a 3 month public
comment period once a license is applied for so the clock is still ticking on that.