To be honest, I've enjoyed this thread immensely. I find it supremely ironic that denlay insists that others answer his questions even as he repeatedly runs away from questions concerning his own thoughts and activities.
Initially, I called denlay out over his sanctimony regarding respect for wrecks littering the sea floor--specifically that of a designated War Grave, HMS Prince of Wales, which was entered by denlay's team in contravention to the spirit of the Law.
Had denlay merely acknowledged the hypocrisy of his sanctimony vis-a-vis his activities, activities which he himself has admitted to in the RINA paper, Death of a Battleship, page 36, no doubt I would have left it at that.
Purely by chance I happened to stumble upon information wrt the salvage of HMS Exeter, a salvage which has resulted in the complete disappearance of Exeter, as we all know. As a result of that information, I offered denlay an opportunity to explain himself regarding what I had discovered.
denlay immediately engaged in his trademark insults and his standard litany of ad hominems rather than answer two simple questions. His reaction was so over-the-top that this old country boy took notice; I started looking into this further, more on that shortly...
Then there is the question of the Law. Of course, then and now--here in this thread, no less--denlay has made much of the fact that if the Law doesn't apply to him...well, let's hear him tell it:
"...But to dive / or dare I say enter them, well I have no problem with that, and especially so if any said law does not apply to, or cover, me..."
This was his defense of entering Prince of Wales and he's stood by that rationale: the Law doesn't even cover him, nevermind the spirit of the law, to prevent the desecration of a War Grave. In so many words, he doesn't care.
But when the Law does 'apply to', or 'cover' him, how does denlay handle himself ? Let us witness for ourselves:
Statue triggers treasure hunt in Liechtenstein
Dec 18 2010
by Matthew Cranston / Neil Chenoweth
Kevin Denlay was hunting treasure in Nepal in the 1980s, buying and selling art in the Kathmandu Valley, when he found a 12th-century Nepalese bronze statue of Vajrapani.
Denlay bought the statue for just $7000. Three decades later, although he has pocketed $573,370 from its sale, the statue stands to cost him much more.
It also thrust him into the midst of the international legal battle about the controversial leaking by whistleblower Heinrich Kieber in 2007 of Liechtenstein bank accounts.
The stakes were high late on Friday when Justice John Logan handed down his decision in the Federal Court in Brisbane about Denlay’s attempt to overturn the legal basis on which tax authorities around the world have used Kieber’s documents.
Justice Logan denied Denlay’s application to quash $3 million in tax assessments, which Denlay had claimed were based on the proceeds of crime.
Documents filed in Denlay’s case offer the first inside account of Project Jade, the Australian Taxation Office investigation into 20 Australians who were named in Kieber’s documents.
Denlay’s case is a world away from his days in the 1970s and early ’80s as a wheeler-dealer, trading art treasures in Nepal in partnership with an American art dealer, Richard Olsen.
He bid goodbye to that world in 1985 when he returned to Australia and took up another career – underwater exploration – from his base on the Gold Coast. Denlay is a nitrox diver, using a lower nitrogen concentration to stay under water for longer than scuba divers can.
The ATO describes Denlay as having an “extensive global profile in the areas of undersea wreck discovery/ exploration, undersea photography and mixed gas dive instruction".
Denlay brought the Vajrapani statue to Australia in 1985, with about 50 Tibetan and Nepalese carpets and a dozen pieces of Asian art. He had the statue appraised by Sotheby’s Australia and tested in the marketplace in 1991, but it would be another 16 years before he sold it.
In 1992, Heinrich Kieber’s records show that LGT Bank in Liechtenstein set up an account in the name of the Dorje Foundation. Kevin Denlay and his wife Mirja are listed as beneficiaries of the assets in the foundation, which held $US1.88 million in January 2002.
The ATO says the origin of the funds in the Dorje Foundation came from business activities associated with deep-sea diving including treasure hunting, exploration and laying pipelines.
Denlay has strongly denied any connection with the foundation, insisting during an interview in 2008 with the ATO that he had no knowledge of any LGT Bank accounts or the Dorje Foundation.
The ATO says in a position paper tabled in the court: “When presented with copies of the LGT documents you [Denlay] failed to provide any meaningful explanation of their documents. . .
“Given time for reflection on the matter between interviews, you could offer no input as to why your name and your personal details appear on the LGT documents."
On February 27, 2002, employees of LGT held a client meeting in Hong Kong to discuss the Dorje Foundation, Kieber’s records indicate.
When the ATO asked him, Denlay could not recall any specific knowledge of a trip to Hong Kong at that time. But records from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship show Denlay and his wife travelled to Hong Kong between February 24 and March 3, 2002.
Denlay resumed contact with Olsen, his friend from Nepal who by then lived in the wine-growing area of the Santa Cruz Mountains in California.
In 2005, emails were sent between Denlay and Olsen, discussing a strategy to sell the Vajrapani statue that Denlay had bought all those years ago.
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre says that by October 2006, Denlay was the beneficiary of an international funds transfer of $US427,000 from Olsen for the proceeds of the sale. But Denlay did not declare any income in his 2007 tax assessment that was attributed to the statue’s sale.
The ATO says the omission of profits from selling the statue as well as the income housed and earned via the LGT Bank, attracted a penalty of between 75 per cent and 90 per cent on top of the original tax.
Denlay would not speak about the matter.
Before the verdict against Denlay on Friday...
The Australian Financial Review
(Note: Bolded and italicized emphasis, mine--RS)
It happens that denlay (and his wife) lost their appeal of the tax ruling by 2013 and are on the hook for a very tidy sum of money--estimated at some 3.5 million dollars--which raises the question of how and where he will find the funds to pay the taxman.
Oh, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Once I developed this particular information, I had my son dig into matters and, about 10 hours later, he presented me with something like 100 pages of downloaded information involving denlay and his activities involving antiquities, wrecks, salvage and the like. In fact, I now have further questions of denlay regarding the wreck--or what's left of it--of HMAS Perth. I wonder if he'll be willing to respond...the more I tug on this loose thread, the more the stories unravel. It's a fascinating exercise in investigation.
Personally, I would never have guessed that denlay was up to his neck in this sort of rancid business. And perhaps I would have done the same were I in his shoes. After all, once one decides that laws don't apply to them, it's a rather slippery slope to deciding that other--uh--'inconvenient' laws don't apply either.
But, by spending the past few days sanctimoniously lecturing others as if he was as beyond reproach as Caesar's wife, denlay displays an unparalleled level of chutzpah and audacity matched only by his tax bill.