Carlos Ghosn, the former general manager of the Renault-Nissan alliance, was surprised by the international arrest warrant issued by the French judicial authorities, after an investigation into suspicious cash flows between Renault and the agent of the Sultanate of Oman.
The architect of the Renault-Nissan car alliance has been the subject of a series of investigations since he fled Lebanon in late 2019 to Japan, where he faces further accusations of financial misconduct.
“This is surprising. Ghosn has always cooperated with the French authorities,” a spokesman for Ghosn in France told Reuters in response to the international arrest warrant cited by the Wall Street Journal.
The Nanterre Public Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed that a judge has issued five international arrest warrants against Ghosn and the current owners or former directors of Suhail Bahwan Automobiles, the Omani distributor for cars. The Japanese investigation has precipitated the dizzying fall of Carlos Ghosn, who maintained a sophisticated lifestyle in real estate in Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Beirut, before ending up in detention for several months in Tokyo and under house arrest until he fled the country on a plane. A private jet.
At the time of the escape, Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges that he had reduced his compensation in Nissan’s financial reports by 9.3 billion yen ($85 million) over a decade and thus enriched himself at his employer’s expense through payments to car dealerships.
Ghosn – who denies all charges against him – remains in Lebanon, a country that does not have extradition agreements with Japan and has a policy of not handing over its nationals to others. The former leader of Renault and Nissan holds Lebanese, French and Brazilian passports.
French authorities claim to have funneled millions of dollars of Renault money through the Omani auto dealer for personal use, including the purchase of a yacht.
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