Ryanair has confirmed that around €4.5m was fraudulently removed from one of its bank accounts through a Chinese bank last week.

The airline said it has been working with its banks and the relevant authorities and understands that the funds had now been frozen.

The airline said it expects these funds to be repaid shortly.

Ryanair says it has taken steps to try to ensure that this type of transfer cannot reoccur. 

It is understood the fraud came to light last Friday and the Criminal Assets Bureau in Dublin was asked to assist in recovery of the funds via counterpart agencies in Asia.