Ryanair has confirmed that it has been hit by a criminal scam in which about $5 million (€4.6 million) was taken from one of its bank accounts by electronic transfer via a Chinese bank. 

The fraud first came to light on Friday and the Criminal Assets Bureau in Dublin was asked to assist in its recovery via counterpart agencies in Asia. 

The airline said in a statement on Tuesday night “Ryanair confirms that it has investigated a fraudulent electronic transfer via a Chinese bank last week,”

“The airline has been working with its banks and the relevant authorities and understands that the funds – less than $5 million – have now been frozen.

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

It is still unclear yet as to how the fraud was able to happen in the first place.