Treasure hunters banned from going abroad to face police investigation

Park Sae-jin Reporter Posted : 2018-07-31 10:00 Updated : 2018-07-31 10:00
글씨작게 글씨크게

[Courtesy of Shinil Group]

SEOUL -- For a probe into Shinil Group, a Seoul-based marine salvaging firm which claimed to have discovered a Russian warship full of gold, police have imposed a travel ban on company executives.

Shinil claimed on July 15 that it has found Dmitrii Donskoi, a Russian Imperial Navy warship, lying on a seabed off Ulleungdo, a South Korean island located between the Korean peninsula and Japan. The company has tried to lure investors with claims that the ship sank with 200 tons of gold ingots and coins aboard in 1905 during a Russo-Japanse naval battle.

On Monday, police banned the travel of Shinil executives including CEO Choi Yong-seok for questioning to see if they were involved in an investment fraud. 

Financial regulators have launched a separate probe into Shinil's possible illegal trading or stock price manipulation and "Shinil Gold Coin", a cryptocurrency issued by the company to attract an investment for its salvage operation.