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Claim sunken warship has 200 tons of gold on board triggers frenzy in South Korea
July 19, 2018 / https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/20/claim-sunken-warship-has-130bn-of-gold-onboard-triggers-frenzy-in-south-korea

Experts sceptical about claims made by company that says it has found the Dmitrii Donskoi, which went down during 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese war

A South Korean company’s claim to have found a sunken Russian warship has triggered a frenzy amid speculation the ship was carrying an enormous amount of gold when it sank 113 years ago.

The Seoul-based Shinil Group said its divers discovered a wreck it identified as the 6,200-ton Dmitrii Donskoi, which went down during the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese war off an eastern Korean island. The company speculated that 200 tons of gold bars and coins ) would probably still be aboard the ship, and claimed that this would be worth 150tn won ($132bn). However, this appears to be a huge overvaluation: the Bank of Korea’s 104 tons of gold reserves are valued at around $4.8 billion.

Shinil released photos and videos taken by search submarines, which showed markings on the stern the company said was the ship’s name in Russian. It said it hoped to hoist the ship from its depth of around 400 metres within months.

Other companies have made similar claims, but none has taken steps toward raising the wreck. One of them, Dong-Ah Construction, was accused of spreading false rumours to bump up its stock prices and later went bankrupt.

Shinil is unlisted but its president recently agreed to acquire shares in a local company, Jeil Steel.

The Dmitrii Donskoi sank off Ulleung Island in 1905

After Shinil’s announcement on the Russian ship, Jeil’s stock prices rose by 30% on South Korea’s Kosdaq market. They continued their steep rise on Wednesday morning before Jeil in a regulatory filing clarified that Shinil’s president would be its second-largest shareholder, not the largest, if the deal goes through. Jeil also said it has “no relation to the treasure ship business”. Jeil’s stock prices dropped more than 20% after Thursday’s trading.
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South Korea’s financial supervisory service said it is closely monitoring trade activity involving the shares of Jeil Steel. An agency official said it was watching for possible deceptive practices involving the trade of Jeil shares, including inducing investors through false information.

“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 did not want to be identified, citing office rules. “Dong-Ah Construction made similar claims over the same ship but failed to deliver on its promises and went bankrupt, causing huge losses for investors.”

Russian scholars have said in the past that Russia was unlikely to put so much gold on a single ship and it must have been much safer to move it by train. They also have said some gold coins could have been aboard the ship to pay the salaries of Russian navy officers.

It is unclear whether Shinil would receive South Korean government approval of its salvage plans.

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

Shinil disagreed on the amount of its possible deposit, saying what it has officially located was the shipwreck, not treasures on it. It estimated the shipwreck’s value at 1.2bn won ($1 million) and planned to put down 120m won ($105,540) as a deposit. Company spokesman Park Seong-jin said his company will file a request for the ship’s salvage right.

Some experts also said it is unlikely the Donskoi, a thickly armoured 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.
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Even if the ship is hoisted and treasures are found, their ownership could be disputed.

A South Korean financial ministry official responsible for the issue said Russia may be able to claim ownership. Park disputed that, saying 80% of the potential treasures would belong to the company while the rest would go to a South Korean government coffer. He cited related South Korean law and an international court ruling on a similar case.

This article was amended on 20 July 2018 to clarify that the $132bn valuation of the 200 tons of gold alleged to be on the sunken ship was made by Shinil Group, and to add information about the valuation of South Korea’s gold reserves that was omitted from an earlier version.

PHOTO 1: An underwater wreckage, claimed by South Korea’s Shinil Group to be the Russian battleship Dmitrii Donskoi which sank in 1905.
Photograph: handout/Reuters

PHOTO 2: Russian cruiser Dmitrii Donskoi of the Baltic Fleet sunken off Ulleung Island in the East Sea during the Russo-Japanese war in 1905, according to salvage company Shinil.
Photograph: Shinil Group/EPA

Offline Agusan_Mike

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Nice posting....
There are no ancient secrets to decoding the past, there is only great research and applied logic.

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Yea, hopefully this group isn't just BS'ing us all and there's really some huge amount of gold onboard.
Tony

Nice posting....

Offline Ruby

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SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean company that claimed to have found the wreck of a Russian warship holding $130 billion (£98.50 billion) in gold said on Thursday it has not verified the existence of any gold, while a financial watchdog said it was probing possible unlawful stock trading.

Shinil Marine said last week it had discovered the wreck of the Dmitrii Donskoi, a Russian armoured cruiser sunk in 1905 after fighting Japanese warships off South Korea's Ulleung Island, and that a staggering 150 trillion won (£101.57 billion) of gold was on board.

However, the company backtracked on those claims on Thursday and apologised for having cited unverified news reports saying the ship held about 150 trillion won worth of gold.

"The reports said the Donskoi held 200 tonnes of gold but that would only be 10 trillion won at current value," said Shinil chief executive Choe Yong-seok.

image: https://content.thestar.com.my/smg/settag/name=lotame/tags=Demo_Gender_Male_enr,all,Demo_Gender_Female_enr,Demo_Age_13to17_enr

"We apologise to the public for the irresponsible citation."

Company officials showed video footage from a submersible vessel, including several shots that appeared to show the name "Donskoi" on the side of a ship.

Choe said submersible pilots had described several tightly lashed boxes within the ship that appeared to carry "meaningful items". Citing unspecified Russian records, the company said those items "must be gold bars or coins".

However, they did not show any images of gold and said they could not confirm the existence of any of the metal on board.

South Korea's financial watchdog said on Thursday it was investigating whether the company's claims were part of any share price manipulation or other unlawful trade.

The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) noted that shares of Jeil Steel, in which both current and former heads of Shinil bought stakes earlier this month, had seen increased trading and rising prices since May, an FSS official said.

The value of the shares jumped 139 percent after the "treasure ship" claim.

"The circumstances raise possible suspicions of stock price manipulation or unfair trade using undisclosed information," said the official, who declined to be identified.

The share price fell on Wednesday to a near two-month low. Jeil Steel said a week earlier it had "nothing to do with the treasure ship business", but its stock rose as much as 19.2 percent on Thursday on investor speculation.

Choe said Shinil held no shares in Jeil Steel and that the current and former heads had bought the shares as private individuals who had begun talks on their stakes in June.

FSS Governor Yoon Suk-heun said on Wednesday the watchdog was also investigating related "cryptocurrency issues".

A website under Shinil Group's name links the find to a "Donskoi International" cryptocurrency exchange that says it will hand out its virtual currency to anyone who signed up with the exchange.

Shinil Marine denied any connection with the cryptocurrency it said was run by a different company with the same name, and said it had changed its name. A phone number on the cryptocurrency exchange's website led to the company until last week.

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Paul Tait)

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/world/2018/07/26/south-korean-firm-backtracks-on-130-billion-treasure-ship-gold-claims/

Offline admin

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Thanks for that, Ruby.
TW

Offline Ruby

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Seoul requests Interpol warrant over 'treasure ship' claims

Authorities have asked Interpol to issue a so-called red notice for the founder of the Singaporean Shinil Group. A red notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest a person with a view to extradition.

FALSE CLAIMS? Shinil Group has announced last week it has found an Imperial Russian naval cruiser the Dmitri Donskoi, which sank over a century ago in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), saying it is believed to contain gold bullion and coins worth 130 billion USD. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

SEOUL, South Korea – Police in Seoul requested an international arrest warrant for the founder of a Singapore-based firm Thursday, August 2 after launching an investigation into the company and a South Korean start-up over false claims of discovering a long-lost Russian "treasure ship".

Seoul-based Shinil Group announced last month that it had discovered the wreckage of imperial vessel Dmitri Donskoi off South Korea's east coast, saying the ship was believed to contain gold bullion and coins worth $130 billion.

But since then, the firm has faced questions about whether the announcement was aimed at artificially boosting share prices, or luring investors into buying a virtual currency which a Singaporean company – also named Shinil Group – had recently started to issue.

Financial regulators announced a probe into the South Korean firm, while police launched a criminal investigation last week, saying that the founder of the Singaporean Shinil Group, surnamed Ryu, was also wanted in connection with fraud allegations dating back to 2014.

"He is the key figure in the suspected treasure ship scam," a police official told AFP Thursday, adding that the authorities had asked Interpol to issue a so-called red notice for Ryu.

A red notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest a person with a view to extradition.

Police have been hunting for Ryu since 2014, when he fled the country during a separate investigation.

"We are asking police in any relevant country to help locate and repatriate him at the earliest possible date", the official said, adding that South Korean authorities believed Ryu was now living in Vietnam.

Following news of the financial probe, the CEO of the South Korean Shinil Group apologized last week, explaining that the firm may have gone overboard on the claims and saying that speculation on the value of treasure inside the ship was based on news reports and unverified documents.

Choi Yong-seok also insisted Shinil Group in Singapore had nothing to do with Shinil Group in South Korea, although the two companies' founders are siblings, and the Singapore firm has been selling virtual coins, reportedly with a promise of handsome returns in case treasure is salvaged from the ship.

The claims also caused share prices of Jeil Steel – a company in which the founder of the South Korean Shinil Group had acquired a large stake – to skyrocket initially. But Choi said the two firms were not associated with each other.

Observers say in 2003 another firm sparked a stock bubble by announcing the discovery of the Donskoi, which sank in a 1905 naval battle against Japan.

Experts have said imperial Russia would have no reason to load vast treasure on a ship that was going into battle and have also noted that there was a safer land route to Vladivostok, the treasure's supposed final destination. – Rappler.com

https://www.rappler.com/world/regions/asia-pacific/208704-seoul-requests-interpol-warrant-treasure-ship-claims?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1533226677

Offline admin

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Wow.. so sad if its just another SCAM!
Thank you, Ruby.
TW