Shinil Group makes headlines once more after its announcement stating that it had found the Dmitrii Donskoi, a Russian armored cruiser that sank more than one hundred years ago.
This time, though, the Seoul-based company attracts attention because the South Korean authorities have started an investigation on a possible crypto investment scam, as reported by Korea JoongAng Daily on July 31.
Shinil claimed that the ship was loaded with $131 billion worth of gold and has promised to pay investors in gold from the Russian shipwreck. In short, the company used the story to convince investors to purchase its cryptocurrency, promising to reimburse them with the gold. The campaign has been fairly successful since it managed to attract somewhere around 100,000 investors, resulting in winnings of around $53,7 million.
Seoul’s Gangseo District Police issued a travel ban on Choi Yong-Seok, the Shinil Group CEO. According to the Korea JoongAng Daily, Yu Ji-Beom, the head of an affiliate of Shinil Group, has also been involved in the scam.
It’s believed that Yu created the Donskoi International Exchange and spread awareness about the shipwreck and its alleged gold on various social media platforms. It seems that Yu is not a newbie when it comes to scams as he has been previously convicted of real estate fraud and is currently in Vietnam to evade the investigation.
More problems for Shinil Group
As if this wasn’t enough, Shinil Group is also under investigation by the authorities for attempting to profit from the fluctuations in the share prices of South Korean manufacturer Jeil Industries. Jeil Industries shares had seen a rise of 30% percent on July 17 when the former director of Shinil Group Ryu Sang-mi became the second largest investor/shareholder.