Ryanair Defrauded of $5 Million, Money Transferred Via Chinese Bank

Financial Services // Transportation // Ireland

A criminal scam, of unknown origin, removed millions of dollars from one of the airline’s bank accounts through an electronic transaction.

“The airline expects these funds to be repaid shortly, and has taken steps to ensure that this type of transfer cannot recur,” Ryanair said in a statement.

“As this matter is subject to legal proceedings, no further comment will be made,” said the Dublin-based airline.

It’s unclear how the hack was operated or who was behind it.

“Ryanair uses dollars to buy fuel for its 400-plus Boeing 737-800 aircraft. It is these funds that are believed to have been tapped in this illegal transfer,” the Irish Times reports.

The Criminal Assets Bureau in Dublin is believed to have coordinated with its counterpart agency in Asia to trace the money. The equivalent organization is the Asset Recovery Interagency Network Asia Pacific, based in Korea.

According to the Irish Independent, the thieves initiated a single transaction using the Chinese bank when stealing the money from the airline, Europe's biggest low-cost carrier.