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Offering Shipwrecked Goods for Sale

Offering shipwrecked goods for sale is an offence under section 523 of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You offered goods for sale, and
  2. The goods were unlawfully taken, or reasonably suspected to have been unlawfully taken, from a vessel in distress, wrecked, stranded or cast on shore.

You are not guilty of the offence if you are able to establish ‘on the balance of probabilities’, that you possessed the goods lawfully.

Duress is a defence to the charge.

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