Saudi businessman covered Carlos Ghosn investment losses, Japanese report says
Thursday, December 27, 2018
An influential Saudi businessman was involved in a payment allegedly made to cover personal investment losses of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, Japanese broadcaster NHK reports.
Ghosn, who is 64 years old, was rearrested by Tokyo prosecutors last week on suspicion of aggravated breach of trust in connection with the payment. He was initially arrested for allegations of underreporting his pay.
Ghosn is now accused of having a Nissan subsidiary illicitly channel around US$15 million to the firm of one of his acquaintances, who is alleged to have helped him get a credit guarantee for his personal financial deals.
Sources familiar with the matter say that the acquaintance is Khaled Al-Juffali, a businessman from the founding family of Saudi Arabian conglomerate E.A.Juffali and Brothers. He and Ghosn have known each other for 30 years.
Juffali has also maintained close ties with Nissan. In 2008, he founded a firm in the United Arab Emirates that handles marketing for Nissan in the entire Middle East region.
The prosecutors have learned that the money was transmitted to Juffali's company as "sales promotion expenses." They suspect the payment was made as a reward for Juffali's securing the credit guarantee for Ghosn.
However, Ghosn's defense team quoted him as saying the payment is a legitimate reward for Juffali's role in resolving problems for Nissan and lobbying the Saudi royal family.