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Transport ministry inspects Tokyo moving company for overcharging

The transport ministry conducts an onsite inspection of Yamato Home Convenience Co. on Aug. 9, 2018, after the company admitted to overcharging corporate clients an estimated 3.1 billion yen in the past five years. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The transport ministry conducted an on-site inspection Thursday of a major moving company in Tokyo after it admitted to overcharging corporate clients an estimated 3.1 billion yen ($27.9 million) in the past five years.

Six officials of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism were seen entering the headquarters of a subsidiary of Yamato Holdings Co. The moving company, Yamato Home Convenience Co., may face an administrative punishment as a result of the inspection.

Yamato Holdings said in late July that the subsidiary had inappropriately billed a total of 1.7 billion yen for its moving services over around two years through June, affecting 2,640 companies.

It later said an internal probe had uncovered an additional 1.4 billion yen of overcharging in the past five years.

The practice occurred at 123 of Yamato Home Convenience's 128 offices, according to the ministry.

The overcharging included billing customers based on initial estimates, even in cases when the actual cost of a move was lower. Some employees have said the overcharging was aimed at improving business results.

Yamato Holdings plans to reimburse customers who were overcharged.

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