04 April 2019
Tokyo: Tokyo prosecutors on Thursday arrested former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn, less than a month after he was released on bail after serving more than 100 days in custody.
The ex-auto tycoon was served a fourth arrest warrant by prosecutors over new allegations of aggravated breach of trust, Xinhua news agency reported.
On Thursday morning, prosecutors entered the residence of Ghosn and took the 65-year old to their offices by car for questioning.
Sources close to the matter said Ghosn's arrest was related to allegations he used part of Nissan's funds which were transferred to a Nissan dealership in Oman, operated for seven years until last year by an acquaintance of his.
The fresh allegations suggest that Ghosn may have made more than $34 million in payments from a CEO reserve fund that the ex-auto tycoon had discretion over, under the pretense of sales incentives from Nissan.
Sources said that the money was then transferred from a private bank account opened in Lebanon by the Omani dealer, funnelled through an investment firm run by the Omani and sent to a company account belonging to a family member of Ghosn.
The funds are suspected by prosecutors thereafter of being used, at least in part, to purchase a 1.6-billion-yen ($14.35-million) luxury yacht for use by Ghosn's family and others, the sources said.
Prosecutors said the once-revered auto exec had caused Nissan a loss of around 563 million yen ($5 million).
In a written statement released after being served a fourth arrest warrant Ghosn said his arrest was "outrageous" and "arbitrary."
Ghosn's defence team maintained that the money transferred to Oman was made at the request of his subordinates and was a permissible payment made to the dealer for his many years of service.
His team also said that the purchase of the multi-million dollar yacht has noting to do with Nissan.