The Unsolved Mysteries of South-east Asia podcast: General Yamashita’s lost gold

Rogelio Roxas (left) and his brother Jose Roxas, with the golden Buddha - one of the treasures hidden in the Philippines by General Yamashita, before he surrendered to US soldiers in 1945. PHOTO: ST FILE

In this episode, we follow the trail of fabled treasure stashed in tunnels and caves by retreating Japanese soldiers who found themselves with nowhere else to go as World War II drew to a close.

ST correspondent Raul Dancel speaks to Mr Arnel Cruz, spokesman of the Treasure Hunters Association of the Philippines, and archaeologist Jose Eleazar Bersales.

He also interviewed political analyst Lucio Pitlo III and retired US Navy officer Manny Paez, who was with a team of experts commissioned by the History Channel for a series on the mysterious buried treasure.

Highlights (click/tap above): (Headphones recommended)

02:21 General Tomoyuki Yamashita's capture and conviction

04:58 Mr Rogelio Roxas, a common locksmith, discovers a golden Buddha in a network of tunnels

06:19 Word of Mr Roxas’ find reaches the ears of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos

08:59 Mr Manny Paez believes the missing golden Buddha is sitting inside a luxury apartment in New York

13:19 Mr Lucio Pitlo says it might be difficult to recover the dictator's plundered wealth if his son becomes the president

15:25 Mr Arnel Cruz claims there are 17 more golden Buddhas still waiting to be found

16:14 Filipinos' indiscriminate treasure hunting is hurting the country, says Professor Jose Eleazar Bersales

Produced by: Tan Jia Ning (jianing@sph.com.sg), Raul Dancel (rdancel@sph.com.sg), Magdalene Fung (magfung@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis and Teo Tong Kai

Edited by: Teo Tong Kai

Follow The Unsolved Mysteries Of South-east Asia podcast series here every third Tuesday of the month till July:

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