French justice has issued an international arrest warrant against Carlos Ghosn, former chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance (RNBV), as part of an investigation conducted in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine), in particular for misuse of corporate assets and money laundering, said the Nanterre prosecutor’s office on Friday April 22, confirming information from wall street journal.
The Franco-Lebanese-Brazilian businessman, who was to be tried in Tokyo for financial embezzlement, has lived in Beirut since his incredible flight from Japan at the end of 2019. In Nanterre, investigators are interested in nearly 15 million euros in payments considered suspicious between RNBV and the distributor of the French car manufacturer in Oman, Suhail Bahwan Automobiles (SBA).
The former boss of Nissan and Renault is beyond the reach of Japanese justice, because Lebanon does not extradite its nationals.
At the end of 2019, Mr. Ghosn was free on bail in Tokyo. He was banned from leaving Japan pending trial for alleged financial wrongdoing while at the helm of Nissan. Mr. Ghosn has always claimed his innocence on this file.
On December 29, 2019, after traveling incognito from Tokyo to Osaka by Shinkansen, the Japanese high-speed train, he hid in a large box pierced with small discreet holes to allow him to breathe. Mr. Ghosn had thus escaped checks at Kansai International Airport. Baggage checks were not at the time mandatory for passengers boarding a private jet.
In the process, he had joined Beirut via Istanbul aboard private jets rented for the occasion. In February 2020, three people were sentenced to more than four years in prison each by a court in Istanbul, Turkey, in this case: an official of a Turkish jet rental company, as well as two pilots.
Mr. Ghosn’s flight did not prevent the opening, in September 2020, of a criminal trial in Tokyo over deferred compensation totaling tens of millions of dollars. He was supposed to touch them later, but this was not mentioned in the group’s stock market reports.