French police raid Renault headquarters, part of Ghosn’s probe

Carlos Ghosn at the Tokyo District Court on May 23. (Bloomberg pic)

PARIS: French police raided Renault’s headquarters outside Paris today to gather evidence for an investigation related to spending by former chairman Carlos Ghosn.

A spokesman for Renault confirmed the police presence following a report by L’Express, while an official at the prosecutor’s office didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

French investigators opened a probe earlier this year into whether Ghosn improperly used a sponsorship deal to pay for a 2016 wedding party at the Chateau de Versailles.

The magazine said the probe was recently widened to include spending at Renault-Nissan, the Dutch joint venture between Renault and Nissan Motor, and Ghosn’s relationship with an Oman billionaire who was a Nissan intermediary.

A spokesman for Ghosn has denied the allegations related to the Oman distributor.

Ghosn, who was Renault chief executive officer and chairman of the two carmakers and the third partner in their alliance Mitsubishi Motors, is facing trial in Japan for alleged financial crimes including funnelling millions of dollars from Nissan through an intermediary.

He’s denied all the charges, which stem from an internal probe by Nissan. Renault has also carried out its own investigation, while another audit examined the workings of RNBV.