Carlos Ghosn 'surprised' by reports of fresh charges in France

Authorities looking at an Omani car dealer that the former Nissan and Renault boss allegedly used to siphon off funds

Former Nissan and Renault boss Carlos Ghosn has five international arrest warrants issued against him by France. AFP
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Carlos Ghosn, the former boss of Nissan and Renault is "surprised" at reports of fresh charges being filed against him and associates in France for funnelling millions of euros from carmakers to his own accounts.

The Wall Street Journal on Thursday quoted sources who said that the investigating magistrate in Paris had issued five international warrants against Mr Ghosn and the current billionaire owners and former directors of an Oman-based car dealer that operates across the Middle East.

The charges allege that Mr Ghosn funnelled millions from Renault through the Omani company to his own accounts and used some of the money to buy a 36-metre luxury yacht.

"This is surprising, Ghosn has always co-operated with French authorities," a spokesperson for Mr Ghosn told Reuters.

Mr Ghosn fell from grace after he fled Japan, where he had been charged with financial wrongdoing, in mysterious circumstances, ending up in his native Lebanon.

Lebanon does not extradite its citizens and he has refused to face questions from Japanese investigators.

However, he has met French investigators and denied accusations he siphoned off millions from the car makers or broke the law.

Mr Ghosn initially welcomed French probes into the accusations, saying that he believed the French system was fair and would vindicate him while accusing Japanese authorities of trumping up charges.

Japan has promised a fair trial if the former industry titan returns.

Updated: April 22, 2022, 8:23 AM