Three more cargo carriers – Cargolux, Nippon Cargo Airlines and Asiana Airlines – have agreed to pay criminal fines totalling US$214 million for their role in a global price fixing conspiracy. Additionally, Asiana was charged with fixing the passenger fares on flights from the US to Korea from as early as 2000. Cargolux will pay a fine of $119 million; Nippon Cargo, $45 million; and Asiana, $50 million. In addition, three senior air cargo industry executives agreed to serve jail terms. The latest development is only part of an ongoing cartel probe by the US Justice Department which has resulted in $1.6 billion in fines being levied on 15 carriers with three executives also serving jail terms. Along with the US, competition authorities in the European Union and Australia are also investigating the global price-fixing conspiracy in the air freight industry in what has become one of the worldÃ¢â‚¬™s largest cartel probes. Other carriers to have admitted criminal guilt and paid fines in the US include British Airways, Korean Airlines, Qantas, Japan Airlines, Martinair, Cathay Pacific, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Air France and KLM, LAN Cargo, Aerolinhas Brasileiras, and El Al Israel Airlines. Three executives from BA, Qantas and SAS have previously pleaded guilty and have been given jail terms. The fixing of cargo rates for international air shipments began as early as September 2001 and continued till February 2006.
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