A South Korean court docket has sentenced a number of enterprise executives to jail after they tricked traders out of thousands and thousands of in a fraud involving a supposedly ‘treasure-laden’ Imperial Russian shipwreck.
The executives attracted $7.6 million from traders after claiming that the ship contained an enormous 200 tons of gold, in keeping with Yonhap Information Company. Estimates indicated that the purported gold haul can be value a staggering $132 billion.
Yonhap reviews that the claims of sunken treasure had been discovered to be groundless. On Wednesday, a court docket in Seoul sentenced a lot of individuals to jail phrases over the rip-off.
‘TREASURE-LADEN’ RUSSIAN SHIPWRECK SPARKS CONTROVERSY
The previous vice chairman of the enterprise previously often called Shinil Group, recognized solely by his surname, Kim, acquired a 5-year jail sentence, in keeping with Yonhap. The previous head of the group, recognized by the surname Ryu, acquired a 2-year sentence, Yonhap reviews, including that one other key confederate was sentenced to four years in jail.
Final summer time, salvage firm Shinil Group mentioned that the strict of the vessel, the Dmitry Donskoi, had been found off South Korea’s Ulleungdo Island, attracting huge consideration throughout the globe. The ship was badly broken following an assault by Japanese warships in the course of the Russo-Japanese Struggle and was scuttled within the Sea of Japan on Could 29, 1905.
Information of the supposed ‘discovery’ sparked an investor frenzy in South Korea, prompting the nation’s monetary regulator to situation a warning in opposition to doable funding losses.
SUNKEN IMPERIAL RUSSIAN WARSHIP MAY CONTAIN $130 BILLION IN GOLD
There was, nonetheless, loads of skepticism concerning the veracity of the supposedly wonderful ‘discovery’ and consultants had lengthy questioned the rumors of sunken treasure that swirled across the Dmitry Donskoi. In keeping with The New York Occasions, one historian informed Bloomberg in 2000 that it might have been safer to ship the gold to the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok by rail, versus utilizing a ship.
Some consultants additionally mentioned it was unlikely that the Donskoi, a thickly armored warship with greater than 12 artillery items, 500 sailors and presumably 1,600 tons of coal, would have had room for 200 tons of gold, which on the time of the ‘discovery’ was double the present gold reserves at South Korea’s central financial institution. Related skepticism was expressed on social media.
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The Related Press contributed to this text. Observe James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers