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Possessing Shipwrecked Goods

Possessing shipwrecked goods is an offence under section 522 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 were in possession of goods, and
  2. The goods belonged to a vessel in distress, or 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 came to possess the goods lawfully.

Duress is a defence to the charge.

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