New accusations against former director of Nissan involve Saudi businessmen

New accusations of irregular behavior filed by Tokyo prosecutors against former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn center on the use of company funds to pay a Saudi businessman who would have helped him solve financial problems, two company sources said.

Tokyo prosecutors arrested Ghosn for the third time Friday, accusing him of an aggravated breach of confidence in the transfer of personal losses from investments to the automaker.

In his indictment, prosecutors said they believe that around October 2008, Ghosn was trying to deal with losses of 1.85 billion yen (16.6 million dollars) for a swap contract with a bank that was not mentioned.

One person helped organize a credit note for Ghosn and a company run by that person later received $ 14.7 million in Nissan funds in four installments between 2009 and 2012, according to the statement, adding that the payments were made in interest between Ghosn and that person.

“In doing so, (Ghosn) behaved in a way that violated the trust and inflicted damage on Nissan’s property,” the statement said, adding that Ghosn had attempted to have the automaker take direct losses.

According to Nissan sources, who are aware of the company’s investigation of their former boss, the person who helped Ghosn is Khaled Al-Juffali, vice president of one of the largest conglomerates in Saudi Arabia, EA Juffali and Brothers, and a member of the directory of the Monetary Authority of Saudi Arabia.

He also owns a majority of a company called Al-Dahana that owns half of the regional joint venture Nissan Gulf, while the other half is owned by a unit wholly owned by Nissan Motor.

Sheikh Khaled Juffali did not comment on the matter, according to a statement sent by email from E. A. Juffali and Brothers.

Ghosn’s lawyer in Tokyo, Motonari Otsuru, was not available for comment, said one person who answered the phone in his office. A representative of the Ghosn family declined to comment.

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