Nissan-Renault chairman accused of financial misconduct lands in his parents’ native Lebanon
Chloe Cornish in Beirut
Carlos Ghosn has left Japan where he was on bail and has arrived in his parents’ native Lebanon, according to a source close to the Nissan-Renault chairman’s family and a professional associate.
Mr Ghosn, once celebrated for his turnround of the ailing car companies, has suffered one of the decade’s most dramatic corporate falls from grace, arrested in Japan in November 2018 under four charges of financial misconduct, which he denies.
He landed at Beirut’s Rafic al-Hariri international airport late on Sunday, according to an associate of Mr Ghosn. Local media reported that he arrived in a private jet, which the Financial Times was unable immediately to confirm.
It is unclear whether the former carmaker’s chairman has escaped bail in Japan or whether a deal has been struck for his release. Japanese and Lebanese authorities were not immediately available for comment.
The terms of Mr Ghosn’s detention meant he could leave his flat under the terms of his bail, but he was followed by three agencies — the police, prosecutors and a private detective thought to be hired by the company he once saved from bankruptcy, according to FT reporting.
Nissan alleges that Mr Ghosn understated his personal pay and two filings say he failed to report more than $80m in deferred compensation.
Recommended FT Magazine The downfall of Carlos Ghosn Mr Ghosn has denied all charges against him from the Japanese prosecutor, and Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) in mid-December disputed some findings of a Nissan internal probe.
However, the regulator also fined Nissan $22m over allegations that it understated Mr Ghosn’s pay over a four-year period.
Mr Ghosn holds Lebanese, French and Brazilian citizenship and was long considered one of Lebanon’s most successful expatriate businesspeople. He is a partner in several Lebanese businesses, including a winery, and the Lebanese government advocated on his behalf after his arrest last year.
Japanese prosecutors built part of their case using evidence from a laptop obtained in Lebanon from one of Mr Ghosn’s aides, the FT reported in May.