It’s a new day and it’s yet another crypto bust for the Korean police. This time, it’s the Korean police have just raided a fraudulent firm that claims to have discovered a shipwreck carrying gold bars and coins worth $130 billion. According to the Korean Herald,  the cryptocurrency startup was claiming that it had discovered a sunken Russian warship from the 20th century and in it was 200 tons of gold. The startup was now offering ICOs to potential investors based on this discovery, promising the buyers that they could exchange the token for the discovered treasure.

Dmitrii Donskoi, The Russian Naval Ship Carrying 200 Tons Of Gold

Shinil Group in Yeouido, western Seoul, made the claim on July 15 announcing that it had discovered the shipwreck of the Russian warship and that in it was 5,500 boxes of gold bars and 200 tons of gold coins. This was being estimated to be worth $130 billion in the present day and according to the company’s CEO-Choi Yong-seok- would be used to back the company’s cryptocurrency, ‘Shinil Gold Coin.’ With the company making a promise of the in-house coin jumping by 10,000 won by September of this year, the company started taking off. However, this also attracted law enforcement who on Tuesday sent 27 investigators from the white-collar unit of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency to search the Shinil Group head offices, as well as 7 of its other offices within the country, to collect evidence.

Currently, the company’s CEO, Choi Yong-Seok, has been banned from leaving the country and is reportedly listed on the Interpol list as per the request of local authorities. South Korean authorities are looking into further manipulation probes after shares of a company jumped by 139% after the heads of Shinil Group bought the shares. Jeil Steel, the company in question is under investigation by the Financial Supervisory Service over possible price manipulation since the price jump came after claims of the “treasure ship” emerged.

Although the telltale signs of a fraudulent ICO have been getting clearer, this latest scam is a clear indication that fraudsters are getting smarter and coming up with better ways to steal from investors. For one, it is reported that the company was holding footage of what was a submerged shipwreck that had the initials Donskoi on the side. Taking a closer look, there were boxes inside the shipwreck that seemed to hold valuables, although the footage didn’t show exactly what was inside.

By using the promise of this treasure to back its cryptocurrency, it seemed like a sure bet for some investors, who according to an unconfirmed that tipped of the korean police, source were believed to have raised $60 billion in token sales. It’s only when the company backtracked on the value of the gold’s value that korean police began to ask questions. Unfortunately, this will not be the last of these cases and we will certainly see more fraud cases which continue to be a menace in the crypto space.

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