British husband of woman who disappeared during honeymoon to deny smuggling stolen coins worth $100,000

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A British man whose new wife vanished as they sailed off the Cuban coast on their honeymoon will deny smuggling up to $100,000 (£77,000) in stolen gold and silver coins, said his lawyer. 

Lewis Bennett, 40, sent an SOS saying Isabella Hellmann was missing and his catamaran was taking on water, leading to an FBI investigation.

He was rescued alone in a life-raft where agents said they found 235 silver coins, before discovering 162 gold coins stashed in boat shoes in a bedroom cupboard at their home in Delray Beach, Florida.

Bennett, a UK-Australian national, will appear in court in Key West on Friday after his arrest over the coins. 

His lawyer Mark Shiner said he would deny transporting stolen items. The search for Ms Hellmann, 41, was called off days after she was reported missing on May 15. 

The inquiry into her disappearance continues.


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