Former CEO of Michelin North America, chairman and CEO of Renault, chairman of AvtoVAZ, chairman and CEO of Nissan, and chairman of Mitsubishi Motors, Carlos Ghosn has been an international fugitive since January of 2020. Since he has not been captured yet, France has now issued an international arrest warrant for the internationally wanted fugitive.
Carlos Ghosn reportedly bought a 120 ft. yacht using Renault’s funds and fled Japan in 2019. He is reportedly in Beirut, Lebanon as of the day of writing and spoke to BBC saying he was “surprised” with this news. Having French, Lebanese and Brazilian nationalities, Ghosn cannot be extradited from Beirut as Lebanon does not yet have an extradition policy with France. Speaking on this development, his lawyer Jean Tamalet at King and Spalding, told BBC that the arrest warrant is part of an investigation that “has been going on for some time.”
French authorities have issued this warrant against 5 people that includes Carlos Ghosn and four other individuals for over €15 million (Rs. 123 crores approx.) in suspected payments linking to some car distributor in Oman. Reported firstly by the Wall Street Journal, a French magistrate investigating the case alleges that Ghosn had funnelled Renault’s funds into Suhail Bahwan Automobiles. This report further submits he used this money to buy personal items like a 120-ft. yacht.
Ghosn has constantly denied all the allegations stating he is innocent and this whole thing was caused by Nissan executives to stop him from pushing for a full merger with Renault. He further said that they wanted “to put me completely out of the picture; that meant putting me in jail. Japan has become nationalistic. There was talk about the ‘re-Japanisation’ of Nissan.”