A South Korea salvage team has reportedly uncovered an old Russian warship that is believed to hold 200 tons of gold worth more than $130 billion.
The company that found the warship, the Seoul-based, newly established Shinil Group, have released video and imagery taken by their search submarines, which appear to show a wreck with a Russian insignia.
Shinil Group, which lists a Singapore address on its website, 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.
The Dmitrii Donskoi was an armoured cruiser in the Russian Imperial Navy's Baltic fleet which was deployed to the Pacific in the 1904-5 Russo-Japanese War.
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By the company's estimates, there may be as much as 200 tons of gold inside the fabled ship, and that the entire treasure could total up to $133 billion.
A South Korean team of experts have struck gold! Shinil Group claims they are "the only entity in the world" to have see the ship since.
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.
South Korean law aimed at preserving national territory and property requires the company to deposit 10% of the estimated value of the shipwreck before any salvage operation can begin.
The company also hopes to make a museum about the sunken ship.
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Therefore, investors were warned by South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service that there are still plenty of questions that need to be answered surrounding these claims.
"Investors should beware because it's uncertain whether the ship is salvageable and whether Shinil would be able to gain ownership of the assets even if it gets permission to raise it", said the official, who didn't want to be identified citing office rules.
"We'll soon go ahead with procedures to rescue the ship", the salvage company said. Shinil Group claims it found the sunken ship and that the ship may contain treasures valued at around 150 trillion won (＄132.6 billion).
It noted that investors already suffered great losses in 2003 when the bubble burst and Donga Construction Co, which claimed the discovery of the "treasure ship", went belly-up.
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