We have already reported on the Korean treasure hunting company Shinil Group recently publishing a sensational announcement of locating the long-lost Russian warship ‘Dmitrii Donskoy’. The armored cruiser was sunk is 1905 by the Japanese troops and its wreck is rumored to safeguard thousands of gold bars, as well as 200 tons of gold coins, worth around $133 billion in total.
Shinil has confirmed the claims, saying its treasure hunters have discovered the ship near the island of Ulleungdo and that it holds 150 trillion won ($130 billion) in gold. The company has since released its crypto token, a ‘Shihil Gold Coin’, a single unit of which will be worth around $9 and, more importantly, will be backed by the gold, found it the remains of ‘Dmitrii Donskoy’.
The Shinil Gold Coin has been moderately successful in Korea, attracting around $53 million of investment from over 100,000 crypto aficionados since its launch. The company has tried to lure investors into acquiring the token in exchange for a sizeable portion of the gold, supposedly found on the ship. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Shinil CEO Choi Yong-Seok has since completely reversed on the previous claims by the company, admitting there is no clear evidence the ship contains any of the rumored gold.
The Korean authorities were quick to react and have raided the Shihil Group offices on Tuesday as part of the investigation into fraudulent activities. 27 investigators were deployed to the company’s main office, as well as seven other locations to investigate Shihil’s documents and gather evidence.
Additionally, Choi Yong-Seok was issued a ban, forbidding him from leaving Korea, with the same restriction applied to Yu Ji-beom, the head of Shihil‘s Singapore branch. Yu has previously opened the Donskoi International Exchange in Singapore and has published dubious photos of the supposed discovery of the warship on various social media platforms.
Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) is also looking into another company that might be involved in the scam – Jeil Steel. The price of Jeil Steel shares have skyrocketed by 139 percent after the ‘treasure ship’ discovery announcement. Coincidentally, both heads of Shihil Group purchased Jeil Steel shares in early July, just before the price surge. Reportedly, Jeil Steel provided metal for the vessel that was used in ‘Dmitrii Donskoi’ discovery, although the metal company has since denied this claim.
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