A secret stash of tsar’s gold worth billions was found in an old rail tunnel near Lake Baikal
Royal discovery made after 99-year-old code is broken by Siberian mathematics genius.
The former tunnel and at an undisclosed location in the Irkutsk region is today under the protection of the Russian national guard after the sensational discovery exactly a century after Tsar Nicholas II was deposed.
Rail carriages packed with gold bullion bearing the Romanov insignia along with ‘other treasures’ – in the possession of anti-Bolshevik forces as they retreated from the Red Army after the Russian Revolution – were hidden in 1918, according to sources quoted by multiple Russian news agencies.
At least one ‘crown once worn by the last Russian emperor’ is in the collection, it was reported early today.
Unlike last year’s claim of Nazi gold hidden in Poland, today’s report is ‘genuine and verified by competent state organs’ under direct Kremlin orders, said a source close to the discovery.
A formal statement is due around noon in Moscow on Saturday when the first pictures of the gold will be revealed to the world’s media.
The first consignments will be moved to the Russian Central Bank within hours. The treasure has been claimed already by the Russian state in a closed-door court case beginning at 00.01 on Saturday in Irkutsk under tight security.
The stash ‘more than compensates for the cost of sanctions imposed by Western governments’, said an informed insider early today.
The location of the gold was discovered after a secret code giving the coordinates of the location in the Irkutsk region – originally found deep in the Stalin era – was cracked by a 21-year-old mathematics protege who studies in Tomsk.
The document was seized from a Kolchak aide in 1919 and has lain for years in a Russian national archive in Moscow.
Over the decades, experts have failed to understand the bizarre instructions written in Russian, French, and English.
‘It was simple once I understood the importance of the numbers 1 and 4 and their complex interrelationship,’ said the student in an interview with TASS news agency.
The mathematics genius, who has not been named because he is also a ‘hacking maestro’ suspected by the FBI of involvement in penetrating Hillary Clinton’s emails, took less than one hour to crack the decades-old formula designed to inform royalists the location of the treasure.
Since the defeat of Admiral Alexander Kolchak, leader of the White Russian forces, there has been speculation about the tsar’s gold, and where it was stashed.
In the months leading up to July 1918, when abdicated ruler Nicholas II and his family were shot on Lenin’s orders, it is estimated that 73% of the world’s largest gold reserves were held in Kazan, a city on the Volga River, before most was shifted further east into Siberia.
It had been moved here for security reasons during the First World War.
Grainy pictures from the vaults of a Kazan bank highlight that gold and other precious metals of untold value were held here. It is known that huge stocks of gold were removed to Omsk in Siberia by train on 13 October 1918.
One month later Kolchak was proclaimed Supreme Ruler of the country and Omsk was briefly the capital city of anti-Bolshevik Russia.
One theory is that as the gold was transported east from Omsk and some of the suspected 1,600 tons of royal bullion sank into Lake Baikal near Cape Polovinny after a train accident.
Mini-submarines scored Lake Baikal in 2010 for a cargo of gold that was reported to have fallen from a derailed train into the lake.
Separate claims suggested gold was carried towards Imperial China by troops loyal to Kolchak across frozen Baikal in the winter of 1919-20.
Other claims suggested gold was buried in the Krasnoyarsk region.
Mini-submarines scored Lake Baikal in 2010 for a cargo of gold that was reported to have fallen from a derailed train into the lake. Pictures: Channel 1 TV, The Siberian Times
In 1928, a New York court was told that the gold was elsewhere – buried in woods near Kazan.
There have been claims the value of tsarist gold could be as much as $80 billion.
Provisional estimates from the site in the Irkutsk region suggest the stash is worth a little less than $30 billion.