Carlos Ghosn “surprised” by French international arrest warrant over Renault cash claims

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Friday 22 April 2022 11:15 BST

Ousted global car boss Carlos Ghosn said he was “surprised” by reports French authorities had issued an international arrest warrant for him.

Mr Ghosn, who fled Japan in 2019 ahead of a trial for financial misconduct related to his tenure as head of Nissan and Renault, has been told by the Wall Street Journal to face new allegations of financial misconduct in France.

Local media also said an investigative judge had issued five international arrest warrants – against Ghosn and the owners or former directors of an Omani vehicle distributor.

They allegedly alleged that Ghosn funneled millions of dollars in Renault funds through Suhail Bahwan Automobiles for his personal use, including the purchase of a 120ft yacht.

The local Nanterre prosecutor has not yet commented on this information.

Ghosn’s spokesman said: “It’s surprising, Ghosn has always cooperated with the French authorities.”

He remains the subject of an Interpol warrant that prevents him from traveling outside of Lebanon – the country that has proven sanctuary since his dramatic escape from Tokyo in December 2019.

Ghosn was originally arrested in November 2018 for embezzling Nissan money for his own benefit and underreporting his future earnings.

He strenuously denied the allegations and said he skipped bail – and ultimately the country – because he would not have faced a fair trial.

The elaborate escape plot saw the auto industry executive smuggled out inside a case meant for music equipment.

A US special forces veteran and his son later admitted playing a crucial role in his flight to safety and were jailed by a Tokyo court last July.

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