Sunken Russian warship with gold worth $130B found after 113 years

Shinil Group say they found the Dmitrii Donskoi off the coast of Ulleungdo island east of South Korea

Shinil Group say they found the Dmitrii Donskoi off the coast of Ulleungdo island east of South Korea

There are unsubstantiated rumours that the ship was carrying 200 tonnes of gold and the Seoul-based firm intends to hoist the ship to the surface to find out. South Korean financial regulators also cautioned against investing in treasure hunting ventures. They are speculating that the Dmitrii Donskoi ship, could contain $132 billion worth of gold, according to recent news reports.

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. And according to the AP, another Korean company made similar claims about the Donskoi in the past-and was subsequently accused of lying to raise its stock prices and avoid bankruptcy.

Shinil was founded on June 1 reportedly with about 100 million won ($87,800). This includes plans for a museum dedicated to the ship.

Furthermore, scholars have said it wasn't typical for the Russian military to put such a fortune on a warship; a more likely method for transferring the gold would have been by train.

Some say the ship was carrying gold for the Russian Pacific Fleet which was going to be used to pay crew salaries and docking fees. Well, it's real. This week, South Korean salvaging company Shinil Group remotely located a vessel just off the Korean coast and enlisted Canadian marine exploration company Nuytco Research check it out.

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Under the law, any excavation of a treasure trove under the sea requires a prior permit from the maritime authorities and a deposit amounting to 10 percent of the estimated value of the treasure.

An official at the Pohang Regional Office of Oceans and Fisheries, which has authority on Shinil's case, said it hasn't formally discussed the company's claim because Shinil has yet to submit a request to seek a salvage right. Chosun Daily also raised questions about Shinil Group's provenance, noting that it was only incorporated as a company two months ago.

"We'll soon go ahead with procedures to rescue the ship", the salvage company said.

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.

The company who sponsored the discovery of the wreckage has however promised, to use a percentage of the money to fund the construction of a railway line linking Russian Federation and South Korea through North Korea.

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