SHANGHAI, China - Coca-Cola said Tuesday two former employees of its Shanghai bottling company had been arrested for corruption.
The two employees worked for Shanghai Shenmei Beverage and Food Co., which is licensed to produce Coca-Cola in China and which is part-owned by the US soft drink giant, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for Coca-Cola said.
"We can confirm that two former employees at our Shanghai (Shenmei) bottling plant have been detained by the police," said the spokesman.
Coca-Cola dismissed reports that the case involved bribes to government officials, saying the investigation focused on "allegations that the former employees extracted kickbacks from suppliers and embezzled from our bottler".
One employee left the company in early 2008, while the other left in May when the allegations surfaced, the spokesman said.
The bottler is cooperating with police in the investigation, he said.
Coca-Cola did not provide further details but the official Xinhua news agency reported that up to 10 million yuan (S$2.08 million) could have been misappropriated.