The Solomon Islands government is reported to be set on recovering more than 1.5 billion US dollars worth of gold bars thought to be on the ocean floor between Guadalcanal and Malaita.
A former MP and now freelance journalist, Alfred Sasako, says he understands the gold is in the wreck of a Japanese ship sunk during the second world war.
Annell Husband reports.
"Mr Sasako says a man from Isabel province who was aboard the ship told his son just before his death where to find the wreck and its cargo. He says the son recovered one gold bar and was then lured into an agreement with the government for its sale. Mr Sasako says the man has never received the money he was promised and now the government is harrassing him for the wreck's location. He says the government has hired heavily armed foreign mercenaries with high speed boats at the ready to recover the gold. Mr Sasako says he understands even the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands has been involved in the search, which is thought to have already cost the government over two million US dollars."