A team of British treasure hunters have discovered a treasure chest, which could contain Nazi gold worth over £100 million, in the wreck of SS Minden, a German cargo ship, off the coast of Iceland.
SS Minden set sail from Banco Germanico in Brazil to Germany, when it sank 120 miles southeast of Iceland on September 24, 1939, shortly after World War II began.
During the journey from Brazil to Germany, SS Minden was spotted by two British cruisers–HMS Calypso and HMS Dunedin.
When word got to Fuhrer Adolf Hitler that the two British cruisers had spotted the ship carrying the treasure, he ordered the captain of the SS Minden to sink the ship in order to avoid the British seizing the precious metal.
Though the ship was deliberately sunk by Hitler to avoid being captured, its crew was saved by HMS Dunedin who later divulged the secret behind the sinking of the ship to the British.
Although some historians consider the treasure shipwreck as legend, the British-based Advanced Marine Services embarked on a search mission in 2016 on Icelandic waters hoping to discover the gold.
But earlier this year, the company was accused by the Icelandic government of carrying out the search without proper permit.
Iceland Monitor reports that when the country’s coastguards first spotted the treasure hunters and asked them what they were looking for in the sea, they gave ‘vague and different explanations’, prompting the coastguards to instruct them to dock at port of Reykjavik before sending in police to question them.
“The first answers we got were that they were looking at an ‘interesting target’ from the WW II, but couldn’t explain it any further,” said Georg Lárusson, director of the Icelandic Coastguard.
Advanced Marine Services thereafter applied to the Icelandic government for a permit. It was granted and the team continued the search until the discovery was made.
The treasure hunters claim the gold was stashed in a box in the lower deck of the ship. It is estimated that the precious metal weigh up to four tons. The team has successfully cut a hole in the ship to remove the box. According to The Sun, the search team is planning to bring the valuable treasure to Britain.