Unsolved mysteries of South-east Asia: General Yamashita's lost gold

In the second of a five-part monthly series, The Straits Times follows the trail of a fabled loot that a Japanese general was believed to have hidden in the 1940s. Find out why this fascination with treasures persists among Filipinos and how late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ son is fuelling that obsession.

Japan's General Tomoyuki Yamashita (far left) in 1945. Mr Rogelia Roxas (left) and his brother with the 1m-high golden statue. PHOTOS: ST FILE, COURTESY OF ARNEL CRUZ
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MANILA - It is a yarn as fantastical as any Indiana Jones tale.

Treasures stashed in tunnels and caves in the Philippines by retreating Japanese soldiers as World War II drew to a close. An amateur treasure hunter stumbling upon a gold Buddha statue with a hollow head stuffed with diamonds. A dictator's attempt to steal the find to fund a brutal regime.

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