Published: Sat, July 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Dmitrii Donskoi: Shipwreck ‘carrying billions in gold’ discovered

Dmitrii Donskoi: Shipwreck ‘carrying billions in gold’ discovered

The salvage company is planning to launch a cryptocurrency to raise funds to bring the wreck to the surface, the Korea Herald reports.

The release was accompanied by photos and video of a wreck, including a section that appeared to show the ship's name.

The South Korean treasure-hunting company, Shinil Group, spent many years attempting to find the treasure ship and is now preparing for a joint operation with companies from China, Canada and Britain to retrieve the treasure. According to a statement by Shinil, divers could also make out cannons, long-distance guns, anchors, three masts, armor and wooden decks.

Until then, the final secret of the Dmitrii Donskoi remains hidden. The now bankrupt Donga Construction company previously attempted to explore and salvage the ship in the early 2000s. She was present for the Battle of Tsushima in May 1905, the historic engagement in the Sea of Japan that effectively ended the Russo-Japanese War.

Of the nearly 600 crew, 60 were killed and 120 wounded, whie the majority of the crew escaped and were later taken prisoner on Korea's Ulleungdo Island.

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 survivors made it to shore, where they were taken prisoner by a Japanese landing party.

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Many have said the gold would be worth billions if found today but academics are doubtful a warship would have been used to carry such precious cargo.

The experts also told the AP if there were some 1,600 tons of coal, 500 sailors and 12 artillery pieces aboard the warship, there might not have been room for 200 tons of gold.

Even Shinil's claim to be the "only entity in the world who discovered Donskoi" has been called into question. South Korea's financial regulator subsequently issued a warning against possible investment losses.

The announcement was disputed by the government-run Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, which told South Korean media that it discovered the wreck in 2003. That's why South Korean officials have announced they will monitor the share prices of a company in which Shinil recently invested for indications of possibly deceptive tactics.

Experts from the United Kingdom and Canadian marine exploration company Nuytco also part of the global team working on the Dmitry Donskoi project.

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