South Korean police confirmed that the company that promised to raise gold from the Russian cruiser sunk in the early 20th century turned out to be a major fraud with thousands of investors scammed.

Millions of dollars were stolen from credulous investors who invested in the ICO of the South Korean company Shinil Group, which sold tokens Shinil Gold Coin, allegedly backed by wealth from the sunk Russian cruiser Dmitry Donskoy. According to the South Korean police, scammers managed to attract about 9 billion won ($8 million) from approximately 2,600 investors.

In July, Shinil Group announced that it had discovered the cruiser with 5500 boxes with gold bars and 200 tons of gold coins worth $116 billion. Shinil decided to raise financing, necessary to elevate gold, via initial coin offering. But the project immediately attracted attention of South Korean law enforcement agencies. They found out that the company defrauded its investors.

The number of victims and the amount of stolen funds may be even greater.

“If we find more related accounts or confirm cases in which investors used cash, the amount could go up,” the investigation unit of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said.

The head of Shinil Group stays in South Korea under the written pledge not to leave the country. The firm's offices were raided by the South Korean police in August 2018.