Binh Thuan allows old man to continue treasure hunt

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A province in central Vietnam has allowed a 96-year-old man to excavate a local mountain for nine months, to hunt treasure believed to be worth some US$100 billion.

According to the VnExpress newswire, the Binh Thuan Province People's Committee officially granted the license to Tran Van Tiep to dig up the Tau Mountain from October 10.

The committee has ordered Hiep to pay VND500 million ($24,300) to the State Treasury as a deposit for the restoration of excavated sites.

Tiep believes 4,000 tons of gold were buried by Tomoyuki Yamashita, a famous general of the Japanese Imperial Army, during World War II, on the mountain in Phuoc The Commune, Tuy Phong District, in 1945. 

According to Binh Thuan authorities, Tiep is allowed to drill for gold at five spots to a maximum depth of 35 meters.

The local government has also ordered Tiep to prevent environmental pollution during his exploration process.

He must report and hand over all the gold he finds to the local government.

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Tran Van Tiep (R), 96, has been allowed to explore a mountain in central Vietnam for treasure.

Under regulations, Tiep will be given no more than VND200 million as a "reward" in case he finds gold in the mountain.

Tiep has poured a lot of money and effort to hunt for the alleged treasure since 1993.

He has said he did not want the gold for himself, but for the huge benefits it would bring to the country.

In February this year, the Binh Thuan Province People's Committee stopped Tiep's hunt, saying that he hasn't found anything new over the past 18 years.

But Tiep later insisted that he was close to finding the treasure, adding that if he can't find it before he dies, his children will continue the hunt.

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