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Shipping line NYK faces a ¥2bn ($18.5m) financial hit after allegations that former managers were involved in illegal spending and embezzlement.

The Japanese carrier said today it had formed a committee to investigate the actions of “locally hired” management at Chinese subsidiary NYK Car Carrier.

The Shanghai-based subsidiary operates in the finished-car logistics business in China.

NYK said: “We deeply apologise for all the inconvenience caused to our shareholders, investors and all other stakeholders.

Launching the investigation, the carrier said it was considering filing an application for an extension to the filing deadline for quarterly reports for the nine-month period ending in December.

It said: “Once the influence of this matter on the consolidated financial results for fiscal year 2017, and on the past fiscal years, have been identified, the company will promptly announce the details.”

Yesterday, Reuters named NYK alongside several other carriers reportedly set to face the wrath of EU antitrust regulators after allegedly being caught rigging bids for shipping vehicles. A near six-year investigation began with dawn raids in 2012, conducted in coordination with Japanese and US authorities.

Those deemed to have been in breach of EU antitrust rules can be hit with a fine equal to up to 10% of global turnover.

Last year, Australian authorities slapped a fine on NYK for operating a vehicle transport cartel, and in its 2017 annual reports the carrier admitted to being investigated by European authorities.

So far, no more details have emerged concerning the embezzlement of funds at NYK.

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