The Russian âTreasure Shipâ Was Likely a Fraud Meant to Boost a Cryptocurrency Scam
A South Korean company that announced it had found more than a hundred billion dollars in gold treasure in a Russian warship is under investigation for possible fraud. The gold apparently does not exist and the company allegedly planned to use news of the treasure to boost a new cryptocurrency.
Last month, the news broke that the Shinil Group, a South Korean company, had discovered the 100-year-old wreck of an Imperial Russian Navy cruiser, the Dmitri Donskoi. A survival of the naval battle of Tsushima, the Donskoi was scuttled off the cost of Ulleung island in the Sea of Japan. Shinil claimed that the ship went down carrying 200 tons of gold coins and 5,000 boxes of gold bars being evacuated from Russia.
Shinilâs explorers claimed to have seen a âtreasure boxâ in the wreckage, although no gold was recovered. Shinil announced that it would a pply to salvage the gold, of which the Russian government was entitled to half. It would donate ten percent of the remainder to infrastructure projects benefiting both North and South Korea. Another ten percent would be transferred to holders of the upcoming Shinil Gold Coin cryptocurrency.
Now, claims of the gold are unraveling. The company adjusted the projected value of the gold again and again, and in a filing made with the South Korean government ultimately estimated the treasure onboard amounted to just a million dollars. Thatâs a far cry from the original $130 billion. The Shinil Group has also shut down and closed its website. The company is also looking into whether Shinil used the news to influence the South Korean stock market.
As for Shinil Gold Coin...itâs nowhere to be seen and the website is down.
According to the Yonhap News Agency, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency is looking at the whole episode as a potential scam perpetrated by a famil y with a history of moneymaking scams. Investigators believe that the operation was in part run by one Rhu Seung-jin, who fled South Korea for Vietnam in 2014 after being accused of running another scam. Seoul police have requested an Interpol Red Notice for Rhu, which asks governments arrest and detain individuals who have fled abroad for extradition.
Lost in all of this is Shinilâs discovery of the Donskoi, a major accomplishment in itself. Well no, not quite: the South Korean governmentâs Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) claims it discovered the wreck in 2003. Naturally, Shinil claimed the government agencyâs claims were âfraudulent.âSource: Google News South Korea | Netizen 24 South Korea