South Korean police has begun an official investigation against Shinil Group, a company which claimed it had found a 113 years sunken Russian ‘treasure ship,’ causing a stock market flurry. The police are now investigating the firm for possible fraudulent claims and have prohibited Shinil Group’s senior staff to leave the country.
Law enforcement officers are now collecting testimonies from victims of the fraud,after which the company representatives will be summoned to a prosecutor’s office for questioning. According to the local media, the Shinil Group consists of only five people — the president, vice president and three secretaries. The company office has been closed since July 23.
In addition, the Korean State Institute of Oceanic Research is going to officially litigate the company’s claims about their discover the ship. The researchers say that they discovered the warship in 2003, and pictures posted by Shinil Group on Twitter were made by scientists during the expedition.
The Dmitry Donskoy cruiser sank off the coast of South Korea during the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. The warship’s crew landed on one of the islands and flooded the ship because of the chase. The vessel’s discovering reports have repeatedly appeared in the media for the past 20 years.
On July 16, Shinil Group announced that its divers discover the warship off the shore of Ulleungdo at the depth of 434 metre. The company has published pictures and video of the vessel parts with Cyrillic letters. Shinil Group’s shares were up to 30% on the same day.