Shipping Executives Charged for Colluding on Bids and Rates

The US Department of Justice unveiled that three further executives have been charged in an ocean shipping investigation on price fixing, bringing the total to eleven executives and four companies.

According to an indictment of the three shipping executives, which was unsealed in US District Court in Baltimore on June 27, Anders Boman, Arild Iversen, and Kai Kraass have been charged with participating in a long-running conspiracy to allocate certain customers and routes, rig bids, and fix prices for the sale of international ocean shipments of roll-on, roll-off cargo to and from the United States and elsewhere. A federal grand jury returned the indictment in November 2016.

Boman, a citizen of Sweden, and Iversen, a Norwegian citizen, are former executives of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS (WWL), while Kraass, a German citizen, is a current WWL executive. Including these charges, eleven executives have been charged in the investigation to date.

Four have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced to serve prison terms. Others remain international fugitives. WWL has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to pay a USD 98.9 million fine. Three other companies have also pleaded guilty, resulting in total collective criminal fines over USD 230 million.

The indictment alleges that Boman, Iversen, and Kraass conspired with their competitors to allocate certain customers and routes for the shipment of cars and trucks, as well as construction and agricultural equipment. In addition, they agreed with competitors to fix, stabilize, and maintain rates charged to customers of international ocean shipping services.

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