Business / Corporate

Switzerland has been helping Japan investigate Carlos Ghosn

Kyodo

Swiss prosecutors say they have been assisting investigations in Japan into former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who has been indicted on charges of financial misconduct and breach of trust.

Tokyo prosecutors requested Swiss assistance on Jan. 14, and the request was forwarded to prosecutors in Zurich on March 8 following a summary probe, a spokesperson of the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police said.

While Zurich prosecutors did not give details of the ongoing investigation, they are believed to be probing bank accounts associated with Ghosn, as Tokyo prosecutors are apparently following the flow of money disbursed by Nissan and Renault SA in Europe and the Middle East.

Many European and American financial institutions are based in Zurich, which is known for hosting private banks and investment banks catering to the wealthy.

French media have reported that Ghosn was making preparations since around last year to move his tax domicile to Switzerland, which offers preferential tax treatment to the rich.

Ghosn has been accused of underreporting his remuneration and redirecting company funds, allegations he categorically denies.

Since his arrest last November, investigations into Ghosn have spilled over to other countries.

Earlier this month, French authorities searched the head office of Renault in connection with a probe into Ghosn’s lavish 2016 wedding at the Palace of Versailles. The once-feted auto tycoon also served as Renault chairman.

Ghosn has been free on bail since April and is now awaiting trial in Tokyo.

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