TOKYO, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo prosecutors on Thursday arrested former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn, less than a month after he was released on bail after serving more than 100 days in custody.
The ex-auto tycoon was served a fourth arrest warrant by prosecutors over new allegations of aggravated breach of trust.
Before 6 a.m. this morning local time, prosecutors entered the residence of Ghosn and took the 65-year old to their offices by car for questioning.
Sources close to the matter said Ghosn's arrest was related to allegations he used part of Nissan's funds which were transferred to a Nissan dealership in Oman, operated for seven years until last year by an acquaintance of his.
The fresh allegations suggest that Ghosn may have made more than 34 million U.S. dollars in payments from a CEO reserve fund that the ex-auto tycoon had discretion over, under the pretense of sales incentives from Nissan.
Sources said that the money was then transferred from a private bank account opened in Lebanon by the Omani dealer, funneled through an investment firm run by the Omani and sent to a company account belonging to a family member of Ghosn.
The funds are suspected by prosecutors thereafter of being used, at least in part, to purchase a 1.6-billion-yen (14.35-million-U.S. dollar) luxury yacht for use by Ghosn's family and others, the sources said.
Prosecutors said that Ghosn, who since first being indicted has maintained his innocence, had caused Nissan a loss of around 563 million yen (5 million U.S. dollars).
In a written statement released after being served a fourth arrest warrant, Ghosn said his arrest was "outrageous" and "arbitrary."
"My arrest this morning is outrageous and arbitrary. It is part of another attempt by some individuals at Nissan to silence me by misleading the prosecutors. Why arrest me except to try to break me? I will not be broken. I am innocent of the groundless charges and accusations against me," Ghosn's statement said.
"After being wrongly imprisoned for 108 days, my biggest hope and wish today is for a fair trial. I was scheduled to present my story in a press conference next week; by arresting me again, the prosecutors have denied me that opportunity, for now, but I am determined that the truth will come out. I am confident that if tried fairly, I will be vindicated," Ghosn's statement said.
Ghosn's defense team maintains that the money transferred to Oman was made at the request of his subordinates and was a permissible payment made to the dealer for his many years of service.
His team have also said that the purchase of the multi-million dollar yacht has nothing to do with Nissan.