Lebanon receives Interpol notice for auto tycoon Ghosn

AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File
Former Nissan executive Carlos Ghosn speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Dbayeh, north of Beirut, Lebanon, May 25, 2021.

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon received from Interpol a wanted notice for disgraced auto tycoon Carlos Ghosn on Thursday, four weeks after French prosecutors issued an international arrest warrant for him, Lebanese judicial officials said.

The officials did not give further details about the Interpol-issued Red Notice, which is a non-binding request to law enforcement agencies worldwide that they locate and provisionally arrest a fugitive. A Red Notice is not an arrest warrant and does not require Lebanon to arrest Ghosn.

It is the second Red Notice that Lebanon has received in the case, as the first was issued in January 2020, a few days after Ghosn fled Japan for Lebanon in a gripping escape.

The judicial officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said the notice was received Thursday by the prosecutor’s office in Beirut.

The new Red Notice came after the French prosecutor’s office in the Paris suburb of Nanterre said last month that it issued the warrant for the former head of Nissan and Renault and four other people based on an investigation opened in 2019 into money laundering and abuse of company assets.

Prosecutors are investigating millions of dollars in alleged suspect payments made between the Renault-Nissan alliance and Suhail Bahwan Automobiles (SBA), a vehicle distributor company in Oman.

The former head of the Nissan-Renault alliance fled to Lebanon in 2019, while out on bail facing financial misconduct charges in Japan. He denies wrongdoing.

Ghosn noted last month after the arrest warrant was issued that he’s barred from leaving Lebanon anyway.

Lebanon does not extradite its citizens. Ghosn has citizenship in Lebanon, France and Brazil.