THREE former NYK and "K" Line executives who allegedly conspired to fixed prices on roll-on/roll-off cargo, have been indicted by a grand jury in the District of Maryland, reports American Shipper.
Toshiyuki Aoki, formerly of NYK and Masahiro Kato and Shunichi Kusunose, formerly of "K" Line, have been charged with allocating customers and routes, rigging bids and fixing prices for the sale of international ocean shipments of ro-ro cargo to and from the United States, including the Port of Baltimore, and elsewhere.
They are among seven executives who have been charged in the investigation so far. Four have pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison. NYK, "K" Line and one other company have also pleaded guilty and paid more than US$136 million in criminal fines.
"The companies and executives who conspired to restrict competition and raise prices for shipping these products must be held accountable," said Bill Baer, assistant attorney general of the antitrust division of US Department of Justice.
"We previously charged NYK and 'K' Line for their role in this long-running conspiracy. Today we are continuing our effort to ensure that the executives at those companies who orchestrated the ocean shipping conspiracy face the consequences as well," he said.
The affected cargo included cars, trucks, construction equipment and agricultural equipment.
Source : HKSG.