Stolen shipwreck relics said to be selling on net

From the New Zealand Herald

Police are investigating whether historical coins stolen almost a decade ago from a former Northland museum are being sold on the Internet.

Police have confirmed a Bay of Islands man contacted them and reported seeing coins, which he thought were part of the haul taken from Kelly Tarlton's Tui Shipwreck Museum at Waitangi nearly a decade ago, for sale on Trade Me.

Up to $500,000 of gold jewelery, coins and other relics recovered from the ocean floor by the late Mr Tarlton were stolen from a glass-covered vault on April 8, 2000.

Kitchenhand Keith McEwen spent more than seven years in jail for the robbery, but has never revealed what happened to the booty.

A $10,000 reward was offered by an insurance company for the return of the historical treasures, but not even that was enough to prompt a result.

The stolen haul included gold sovereigns that Mr Tarlton, a diver, had salvaged from the ship Elingamite, wrecked at Three Kings Islands north of Cape Reinga in 1902, and part of the Rothschild collection he recovered from the ship Tasmania, which sank near Gisborne in 1897.



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