Lebanese-raised Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn arrested in Japan

Lebanese-raised Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn arrested in Japan
Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has been arrested in Japan, over alleged financial misconduct.
2 min read
19 November, 2018
Ghosn was arrested and questioned by Japanese prosecutors [Getty]

Brazilian-born, Lebanese-French businessman Carlos Ghosn has been placed under arrest in Japan, following claims of financial misconduct.

The Nissan chief is being questioned on underreporting his income, among other charges with the carmaker now looking to fire the chairman.

"The investigation showed that over many years both Ghosn and Kelly have been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn's compensation," Nissan said.

"Also, in regards to Ghosn, numerous other significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered, such as personal use of company assets, and Kelly's deep involvement has also been confirmed."

Ghosn was a hugely-respected figure in the auto-manufacturing industry, credited with turning around several major manufacturers. He leads an alliance of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi.

France President Emmanuel Macron said he would be "extremely vigilant" about Renault's stability after Ghosn's arrest.

The French carmaker's shares plunged more than 12 percent in late morning trading on the news of Ghosn's arrest.

Ghosn was born to a family of Lebanese-origin, before moving to Beirut where he was educated. He went to university in France and soon entered industry.

In a statement, Nissan said it had begun investigating Ghosn and its Representative Director Greg Kelly after receiving a whistleblower report and had uncovered misconduct going back several years.

The Tokyo prosecutor's office had no comment on the reports about Ghosn. Mitsubishi and Renault also declined comment.

Japan's Kyodo news agency said Ghosn was suspected of understating his income by 5 billion yen, or around $44 million, over five years from 2011.

Asahi Shimbun first broke the story saying Ghosn was being questioned by prosecutors and was likely to face arrest.