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Colombia treasure-laden San Jose galleon 'is found'

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Baku, December 5, AZERTAC

The wreck of a Spanish boat laden with treasure that sank more than 300 years ago near the Colombian city of Cartagena has been found, President Juan Manuel Santos has announced, according to BBC.

"Great news! We have found the San Jose galleon," the president tweeted.

The San Jose has been described as the holy grail of shipwrecks, carrying one of the largest amounts of valuables ever to have been lost at sea.

Ownership of its treasures has been the subject of a long-running legal row.

The San Jose was carrying gold, silver, gems and jewellery collected in the South American colonies to be shipped to Spain's king to help finance his war of succession against the British when it was sunk in June 1708.

The vessel was attacked by a British warship just outside Cartagena.

The Colombian government's announcement on Friday that it had found the San Jose did not mention its long-running quarrel with US-based salvage company Sea Search Armada (SSA) over claims to the treasure - estimated to be worth between $4bn and $17bn (£2.6bn-£11bn; €3.7bn-€15.6bn).

President Manuel Santo said that he would give more details about the find later on Saturday.

A group now owned by SSA located the area in which the ship sank in 1981.

SSA has been claiming billions of dollars for breach of contract from the Colombian government, but in 2011 an American court ruled that the galleon was the property of the Colombian state.

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