UK divers admit theft from wreck

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Three British divers have admitted illegally removing artefacts from an Atlantic Ocean shipwreck in 2002.

Peter Devlin, Steve Russ and Malcolm Cubin, all from Cornwall, admitted the charges at a court in Santiago, Spain.

The commercial divers were accused of stealing gold and diamonds and of destroying Spain's cultural heritage.

They each received two six-month prison sentences, suspended for two years, and fined a total of 5,000 euros (£4,600) after admitting taking tin ingots.

Mr Devlin, from Falmouth, Mr Cubin, from Truro, and Mr Russ, from Helston, had gone to Spain to work on the wreck of the Friesland, a Dutch vessel which sank in the Atlantic in the late 19th Century.

Prosecutors claimed they strayed onto the Don Pedro, a shipwreck which locals believe is loaded with gold and diamonds.

The three had admitted recovering bottles, tiles and broken china from the Don Pedro, which was off the coast of Galicia, simply to identify the wreck.

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