On Tuesday, the South Korean police raided the office of the Shinil Group, the company that claims that they have discovered the shipwreck of a Russian pre-World War 1 battleship that was carrying over $130 billion in gold bars and coins.
According to the Korea Herald, the Seoul police department sent 27 investigators from its white collar crimes unit to search the office of Shinil Group in Yeouido, western Seoul, as well as seven other locations to confiscate evidence.
As we reported in mid-July that the company had found the wreck of Dmitri Donskoi, the Russian vessel that was sunk during the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. Many historical records mention that the warship was carrying over 5,500 boxes of gold bars and 200 tons of gold coins that were worth an estimated $130 billion in the present day.
The Shinil Group backed those claims saying that when they found the wreck, the shop held 150 trillion won ($130 billion) in gold on board. The group claimed that they had found the wreck near the island of Ulleungdo, east of the South Korean peninsula.
The interesting thing about the announcement was that at first, the company said that they would return half of the gold to Russia and donate the remaining gold to Ulleungdo to increase tourism in that area. But later they announced that they are going to keep all the gold and launch a cryptocurrency token that will be backed by that gold.
They launched the token called ‘Shinil Gold Coin’, which would be equal to 10,000 won (approx.. $8.93). The bad news about this is that by the time the authorities started taking action, the firm had already secured more than 60 billion won in investments.
Not only that, the company also backtracked on their claims on how much gold they found on the ship. Just a couple of days later, the company lowered the figure of gold found on the shop to 10 trillion won ($8.9 billion). That’s when things really started to seem fishy (no pun intended) and the South Korean police began an investigation into the company to validate their claims.
The police also issued a travel ban on Choi Yong-seok, the CEO of Shinil Group.
It was also requested to the Interpol that the Choi Yong-seok be added to their Red Notices list. The Interpol accepted that request on Monday.