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Sunken Russian Imperial warship can contain $130 billion in gold

The stern of the Dmitri Donskoi, and a file photo of the Russian Imperial Navy warship.

(PRNewsfoto/Shinil Group/Getty)

Explorers have found the wreck of a Russian Imperial Navy ship that was sunk 113 years ago and contains $130 billion in gold bars and coins, according to news reports.

In a statement, the salvage company Shinil Group confirmed that the stern of the ship, the Dmitri Donskoi, was discovered off South Korea’s Ulleungdo Island. It was heavily damaged after an attack by Japanese warships during the russo-Japanese War and was sunk in the Sea of Japan on 29 May 1905.

The Korea Times reports that South Korean salvage company, that is searching for the wreck for years, made use of two manned submarines to spot the ship on Saturday.

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The Dmitri Donskoi, a 5,800-ton ironclad cruiser, was in a fleet of 38 Imperial Russian Navy ships deployed from the Baltic sea to the Pacific ocean. Citing historical accounts, The Express reported that the Dmitri Donskoi, with treasures fraught. In addition to the implementation of port cost and salaries for the fleet of sailors and officers, they could have held gold reserves of other Russian ships damaged in the Battle of Tsushima in May 1905.

The stern of the Dmitri Donskoi. The ship has seen better days.

(PRNewsfoto/Shinil Group)

The rumors about a gold treasure on the ship have swirled for decades, although the possibility of a sunken treasure has also viewed with skepticism. According to The New York Times, a historian, told Bloomberg in 2000 that it would be safer to send the gold to the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok by rail, in contrast to the use of a ship.

In his statement, Shinil Group said that a large amount of iron boxes in the aft, and “take measures to protect them.” The boxes the contents are not yet revealed.

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In addition to the stern, 203 mm guns, 152 mm long-distance guns, a few machine guns, anchors, two towers, three masts, wooden decking and armor are also visible on the wreck.

Subs were used to explore the wreck in the Sea of Japan

(Shinil Group)

“A third of the stern is bombed and the hull is heavily damaged,” Shinil Group explained in a statement. “However, the top deck of the wooden hull is almost untouched. The armor on the side of the fuselage is also well preserved, while the anchors, cannons and machine guns remain in place.”

All three of the ship, the masts and the two chimneys are broken.

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Experts of the british and the Canadian marine exploration company Nuytco also part of the international team that is working on the Dmitri Donskoi project.

File photo of the Dmitri Donskoi. There are riches to be found in the colossal wreck?

(Getty)

Other wartime wrecks are also a source of fascination for treasure hunters. The S. S. Minden, a German cargo ship sunk in waters near Iceland during the early days of the second world War, for example, is rumored to contain a huge treasure trove of Nazi gold.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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