TOKYO — Two staffers at pubcaster NHK have admitted insider trading while a third is being investigated.

Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission started its probe after the staffers snapped up shares in restaurant chain operator Zensho before the release of an NHK story revealing that Zensho planned to buy into the Kappa Create sushi chain.

The trio — a reporter at NHK headquarters, a reporter at a station in Gifu Prefecture and a director at a station in Mito Prefecture — accessed the story through an online editing system, then bought between 1,000 and 3,000 Zensho shares minutes before the news went wide.

They reportedly cashed in to the tune of between ¥100,000 and ¥400,000 (($943 and $3,773).

NHK is conducting an internal probe of the incident. NHK chairman Genichi Hashimoto issued a public apology on Thursday, saying it was “unforgivable that someone working in the media abused information,” according to Kyodo News.