Warship carrying $130B in gold is found 113 years after sinking

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

According to a report by the Telegraph, the warship that sunk in a naval battle 113 years ago is said to contain a trove of gold bullion and coins.

The company speculated about 200 tons of gold bars and coins that are worth 150 trillion won ($132 billion) would still likely be aboard the ship.

The BBC also added that the company had reportedly only been formed with US$88,000.

The Shinil Group aims to raise the ship in October or November, reports said.

Rumours persist that the Donskoi was carrying the gold for Russia's Pacific Fleet, used to pay crew salaries and docking fees - gold which would be worth billions of dollars if found today.

The specialist Canadian team was able to positively identify the ship when it found the name in Cyrillic on the hull.

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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. The website said it would "share profits" from the Russian wreck with the public by handing out its virtual currency to anyone who signed up to use the exchange. A separate 10 percent would be invested into tourism projects on Ulleungdo Island, including a museum centered around the ship.

South Korea's Financial Supervisory Services on Wednesday warned against "overheated" investment. The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said that the company has not yet requested permission, the Korea JoongAng Daily confirmed, but the company said it will request permission on Monday.

He said officials with China Yantai Salvage will come to Korea on July 28 to discuss a plan.

The company said in a statement: "We spotted things that look like treasure boxes, but we have not opened them yet".

Yevgeny Zhuravlev, head of Vladivostok's military history museum on the Pacific Fleet, said under global maritime law the cruiser belongs to Russian Federation. This status does not change even after it sinks. Much of the Imperial Russian fleet was defeated by the Japanese.

Alexei Kojevnikov, a history professor at the University of British Columbia, said he is skeptical, as ships going into major battle have no reason to carry any gold. "If it was necessary to deliver a batch of gold to Vladivostok, then it was much safer to do it by land".

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