The ICO promised investors gold that was inside a ship that ran aground in the early 20th century off the coast of South Korea.
South Korean police are investigating the alleged scam to some 2,600 people who invested around 9 billion won (equivalent to a little more than USD $ 8 million) in Shinil Group, a company that claimed to have discovered a wreck that it contained gold worth USD $ 130 billion. This company made an ICO in which it promised part of the ship’s treasure to investors.
As reported by The Korea Herald, investors deposited money on a chip known as Shinil Gold Coin, which according to the South Korean firm would be backed by the treasure that was in the remains of the Russian warship known as Dmitri Donskoi. The Russian warship was run aground off the coast of South Korea by its crew after suffering serious damage during combat with the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905.
According to the police, the losses of the investors could be even greater, because the estimates are based solely on the commercial accounts that until now they have been able to track.
“If we find more related accounts or confirm cases in which investors used cash, the amount could go up,” said the Crime Investigation Unit of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.
There is also the possibility that the number of affected could be lower, according to the Seoul police: “The number of victims could decrease, only if we exclude the cases in which the same person transferred money using different accounts.”
The plans of the Shinil Group to carry out this ICO was announced in mid-July after the company posted a video on YouTube claiming that it had managed to find the remains of the Russian warship containing 200 tons of gold coins and 5,500 boxes of gold bars. Suspicions arose immediately because this was not the first supposed “discovery” of the Russian warship.
Red flags everywhere
In the year 2000, for example, there were reports that the Korean Institute for Ocean Research and Development, which had been hired by the construction company Dong Ah Construction Industrial Co., had found the wreck of Dmitri Donskoi. The Institute of Ocean Sciences and Technology of Korea, operated by the State, also made similar claims in 2003.
It was also suspect that Shinil Group did not apply for the salvage rights of the Russian cruiser’s remains to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of South Korea, and Shinil Group operated without a website, lacked social media accounts and I did not have documents.
The investigations began due to all these irregularities and this culminated in the ban on Shinil Group CEO Choi Yong-Seok to leave the country. In addition, the company’s offices were searched by the Metropolitan Police of Seoul at the beginning of last month.
Source: Diario Bitcoin