French prosecutors issue arrest warrant for disgraced ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn
Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn leaves a Tokyo detention center after posting bail in 2019.
(Associated Press)

French prosecutors have issued an international arrest warrant for disgraced auto tycoon Carlos Ghosn, who fled Japan in 2019 for Lebanon in a dramatic escape.

The Nanterre prosecutor’s office said Friday that the warrant for the former head of Nissan and Renault is based on an investigation opened in 2019 into alleged money laundering and abuse of company assets reportedly involving millions of dollars in payments between the Renault-Nissan alliance and Suhail Bahwan Automobiles, a vehicle distribution company in Oman.

The prosecutor’s office described this as the next step in a two-year investigation, one of two separate cases involving Ghosn.


Ghosn fled to Lebanon in late 2019 while out on bail facing financial misconduct charges in Japan. In an interview last year with the Associated Press, Ghosn was determined to fight to restore his reputation.

Having pulled off an escape from Japan to Lebanon, former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is now free to speak his mind.

Jan. 1, 2020

A statement sent to the Associated Press on Friday from Ghosn’s PR team called the French warrant “surprising.”

“This is not an arrest warrant issued by France but by the Nanterre prosecutor’s office in an investigation still in progress,” it said.

The statement also suggested that the warrant was ineffective as Ghosn “is subject to a judicial ban on leaving Lebanese territory,” where he currently resides.

Lebanon does not extradite its citizens. Ghosn has citizenship in Lebanon, France and Brazil.