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Company's claim to have found gold-laden warship wreck causes market turbulence

21 July 2018

A sunken Russian warship believed to contain $130 billion in gold bullion and coins has been found off the coast of a South Korean island - 113 years after it was scuttled during the Russo-Japanese War, reports said.

Some experts also said it's unlikely that the Donskoi, a thickly armored warship with more than 12 artillery pieces, 500 sailors and presumably 1,600 tons of coal, would have had room for 200 tons of gold, which would be double the current gold reserves at South Korea's central bank.

Local laws aimed at preserving national territory and property require the company to deposit 10 per cent of the estimated value of the shipwreck before starting its salvage works.

Of the remaining gold, 10 per cent will be spent in tourism projects on Ulleungdo Island, including a museum dedicated to the vessel and its crew, while a percentage will be donated to joint projects created to promote development in northeast Asia.

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Shinil Group, which was established last month, said on Tuesday it had discovered the wreck of the Dmitrii Donskoi, a Russian armoured cruiser built in the 1880s and sunk in 1905 after battling Japanese warships.

In today's values, 200 tonnes of gold would be worth a whopping £100 billion. "The armor on the side of the hull is also well preserved, while the anchors, guns and machine guns remain in place". Why, they say, would so much gold be put at risk on a single ship during a time of conflict? Not only that, but the gold the team suspect may be inside has been speculated to be worth $130-180 billion.

According to a statement on its website, Shinil Group intends to share its profits from the salvage of the ship "as well as ancillary businesses such as documentary and film production" through its cryptocurrency, called Shinil Gold Coins.

He said the company will unveil details about what it has found in the boxes at a press conference next week, and it plans to contract a Chinese salvage company to recover the wreck.

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Rumours of a treasure trove on a Russian ship that sank off South Korea a century ago have sent a company's shares on a roller-coaster ride, triggering a warning on Friday (July 20) from financial regulators in Singapore and South Korea.

The report also stated that a dedicated museum for the navy vessel would also be developed with the remainder of the treasure.

South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service said Thursday that it's closely monitoring trade activity involving the shares of Jeil Steel. The Seoul-based Shinil Group carried out this significant exploration.

But now there is a fight to claim the ship's treasure, with both the Russians and the Korean divers claiming ownership of the haul.

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Company's claim to have found gold-laden warship wreck causes market turbulence