Former auto tycoon Carlos Ghosn on Thursday was banned from travelling internationally by Lebanon after he received a “red notice” by Interpol on charges of financial misconduct in Japan, judicial sources said.
The 65-year-old businessman — for years venerated in Japan for turning around once-ailing Nissan — fled while awaiting trial on charges including allegedly under-reporting his compensation to the tune of $85 million.
His shock arrival in his native Lebanon last month was the latest twist in a story worthy of a Hollywood plot and prompted outrage from the Japanese government as well as from Nissan.
“The state prosecution issued a travel ban for Ghosn, and asked for his file from the Japanese authorities,” a judicial source told AFP.
A second judicial source said: “He has been banned from travelling until his judicial file arrives from Japan.”
Lebanon’s judiciary received a “red notice” from Interpol last week urging Ghosn’s arrest.
A “red notice” is a request to police across the world to provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender or similar legal action. It is not an arrest warrant.
Lebanon does not have an extradition agreement with Japan.
Ghosn had also been expected to make a statement on a report submitted by Lebanese lawyers that he had travelled to neighbouring Israel as head of Renault-Nissan.
Lebanon and neighbouring Israel are still technically at war.
In early 2008, Ghosn travelled to Israel to announce the mass production of electric vehicles there with the cooperation of Renault-Nissan.
At a press conference in Beirut on Wednesday, Ghosn apologised to the Lebanese people for having visited the neighbouring country.
“I went as the head of Renault,” he said.
“I went as a Frenchman because of a contract between Renault and an Israeli company,” said Ghosn, who holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian nationalities.