Former Nissan and Renault CEO taken into custody, accused of personally benefitting from payments made to Nissan's distributor in Oman.
Carlos Ghosn, the former CEO of Renault and Nissan, has been re-arrested by Japanese authorities, alleging of the money paid from his discretionary fund to an affiliate in the Middle East was used for his own personal enrichment.
Prosecutors turned up at Ghosn's residence in Tokyo before dawn to take the former executive in for further questioning.
Around ¥1.7 billion ($21.7 million) was initially paid from the CEO's discretionary fund to Nissan's distributor in Oman.
Roughly ¥560 million ($7.1 million) of this money was then used by the distributor to finance a company owned by Ghosn's son, as well as purchase a yacht for Ghosn to use.
On Monday, Renault alerted French authorities to unusual payments made by the automaker to its Oman distributor, which it thinks may have been used, at least partially, to fund companies owned by the Ghosn family.
The national broadcaster says it is unusual for Japanese prosecutors to re-arrest someone who has already been granted bail.
As he been re-arrested, prosecutors can keep Ghosn in detention for 22 days, during which time he can be interrogated without his lawyer present.
He is reportedly being kept at the Tokyo Detention Centre, where he spent 108 days here after his initial arrest. Ghosn was granted bail in early March with ¥1 billion ($12.6 million) bond.
In a statement to the media after his arrest, Ghosn said: "My arrest this morning is outrageous and arbitrary".
"It is part of another attempt by some individuals at Nissan to silence me by misleading the prosecutors. Why arrest me except to try to break me? I will not be broken."
"I was scheduled to present my story in a press conference next week; by arresting me again, the prosecutors have denied me that opportunity, for now, but I am determined that the truth will come out. I am confident that if tried fairly, I will be vindicated."
Junichiro Hironaka, one of Ghosn's lead attorneys, told the media, including The Japan Times: “Even though it was a separate case, it is unthinkable to arrest someone who has been released on bail. We strongly condemn the prosecutors for doing so".
"We have no choice but to describe the arrest, which has no merit nor necessity, as an act of aggression.”
In the days before his re-arrest, Ghosn, or his support team, had created a verified Twitter account. On the social media network, he said was "getting ready to tell the truth about what’s happening" at a news conference scheduled for April 11.
Hironaka says a pre-recorded video of Ghosn explaining his situation "as much as possible" will be made available in the near future.