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Wed 3 Jul 2019 02:16 PM

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Nissan Middle East boss distances region from Carlos Ghosn scandal

Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn under police investigation for alleged financial misconduct

Nissan Middle East boss distances region from Carlos Ghosn scandal
Thierry Sabbagh, managing director, Nissan Middle East, presents the company's latest results for the region.

The newly appointed head of Nissan Middle East has refused to be drawn on the ongoing investigations surrounding former global CEO Carlos Ghosn.

“What is known is known and we let the investigation take its way,” he said.

However, Thierry Sabbagh, managing director, Nissan Middle East, told Arabian Business he is "very proud" of the way in which this region conducts its business.

Ghosn and his right-hand man Greg Kelly were arrested in Tokyo in November last year, accused of financial misconduct, including under-reporting Ghosn’s salary.

Ghosn oversaw the alliance of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, creating the world's top-selling auto company.

Following his arrest, he was subsequently ‘discharged’ as Nissan chairman, while four days later he was also fired as boss of Mitsubishi.

Further charges were added including aggravated breach of trust, alleging Ghosn siphoned off money for personal ends from cash transferred from Nissan to a dealership in Oman, while last month, Renault in France revealed that an internal audit identified 11 million euros of questionable expenses at the Dutch subsidiary, RNBV, which is jointly owned by Nissan. This included “certain spending by Mr Ghosn” and over-charging for his plane travel.

With specific regard to operations in the Middle East, Sabbagh said: “We have a very robust way of doing business in the market, very strong processes. We are very proud of being, in every way we do business, very ethical, and this is what is really important for us.”

Both Ghosn and Kelly deny wrongdoing.

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