Treasure hunters ‘on brink’ of finding lost £15billion stash of gold and jewels

A team of treasure hunters are “on the brink” of unearthing a hidden stash of gold, jewels and artefacts worth up to £15billion.

If the ‘Lemminkäinen Hoard’ is found, it would be the largest and most valuable trove ever discovered. It is believed to have more than 50,000 gemstones including rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds.

The treasure is also thought to contain at least 1,000 artefacts dating back thousands of years. In terms of gold, the hoard is said to include several 18-carat gold life-size statues in human form.

This treasure is allegedly stashed within the massive Sibbosberg cave system 20 miles east of the Finnish capital.

Ior Bock claimed his family were 'guardians of the cave' and direct descendants of Lemminkäinen, a prominent figure in Finnish pagan mythology

Ior Bock claimed his family were ‘guardians of the cave’ and direct descendants of Lemminkäinen, a prominent figure in Finnish pagan mythology 

Carl Borgen / Palamedes / SWNS) It is said to be entombed in an underground temple in Sipoo.

For three decades there have been countless official explorations with more than 100 professional prospectors from across the world trying to get their hands on the treasure.

Now, a group of “penniless” friends believe they are just metres away from the treasure and think they will get into it next summer. The pals, dubbed the “Temple Twelve”, began searching in 1987.

The team have been digging for the treasure which is said to be in the underground temple in Sipoo since 1987

The team have been digging for the treasure which is said to be in the underground temple in Sipoo since 1987 

Carl Borgen / Palamedes / SWNS)

They have spent their summers, dedicating six hours a day, seven days a week, to digging through the labyrinthine cave complex near Helsinki. Members of the group travel from Finland, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Australia, Russia, America and Germany.

Carl Borgen, 60, the world’s leading authority on the Lemminkäinen Hoard, has chronicled the lives of the Temple Twelve and their bounty in his book “Temporarily Insane”.

The cave entrance floods every year with freezing rainwater and the team can only dig during the summer months

The cave entrance floods every year with freezing rainwater and the team can only dig during the summer months 

Carl Borgen / Palamedes / SWNS)

The historian and author said: “I understand that significant progress at the temple has been made and that the crew are feeling especially excited about the months ahead.

“There is now talk in the camp of being on the brink of a major breakthrough, which in real terms could be the discovery of the world’s largest and most valuable treasure trove.

“So far, the Temple Twelve, as they have become known, have been able to remove several huge square granite rocks blocking the entrance to the cave, and have cleared the cave of hundreds of tonnes of smaller rocks and sediment.

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