The capture, looting, and burning of Panama City in 1671 by Captain Henry Morgan was purely an act of piracy. Spending three years successfully capturing neighbouring villages, Morgan and his men were still outnumbered heading into the January attack on Panama. The pirates managed to win the battle, and Morgan's men spent weeks terrorizing the city, taking money and treasure back to their captured village of Chagre.
When Chagre would not pay the ransom demanded, he ordered it to be demolished, and while his men were engaged in that work, Morgan headed out of port with most of the ill-gotten gains – leaving his former men behind. It is said that Morgan then took his treasures north, safely away from the southern pirates, before returning to Jamaica where he became Governor.
Morgan had the leadership, skills and following to construct such a complex burial for his treasures. But if such were the case he seemingly never returned, preferring to remain in Jamaica as a wealthy man.