Brits find Nazi treasure chest with $174 million in gold

Iceland, Nazi
The hunters were on board the Swire Seabed. Photo credit: Swire Seabed

A chest thought to contain as much as NZ$174 million of gold has been discovered by British treasure hunters from the wreckage of a Nazi cargo ship.

The ship, SS Minden, was deliberately sunk on the orders of Adolf Hitler.

The UK-based hunters from Advanced Marine Services found the chest approximately 190km off the southeastern coast of Iceland in early July, according to reports.

They have now had to apply to the Icelandic government for permission to open the treasure because there is a dispute over who owns the chest - the hunters believe who finds it, keeps it.

The same hunters found themselves in hot water with Icelandic authorities earlier in the year after they were accused of searching for the wreckage without the proper licensing.

The SS Minden was en route to Germany from South America in 1939, just days after the beginning of World War II, carrying up to four tonnes of valuable metal including gold.

The Fuhrer reportedly ordered the deliberate sinking of the ship so that enemy forces couldn't capture the cargo after the vessel became surrounded.

Despite numerous attempts, the ship had remained untouched for more than 60 years.

Newshub.