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article imageGhosn family removes items from jailed auto exec's Rio apartment

By AFP     Dec 14, 2018 in World

Family members of Carlos Ghosn, the auto executive jailed in Japan on financial misconduct allegations, have entered an apartment he used in Rio de Janeiro and removed items, according to Nissan.

The action, carried out under authorization of a Brazilian court, occurred late Thursday despite several objections from the Japanese car-maker, which sacked Ghosn as chairman last month and which is the owner of the Copacabana Beach apartment.

The relatives went into the property late Thursday with permission from a Brazilian court, and "personal effects were removed, and the safes were opened," Nissan said in a statement.

Ghosn, 64, was born in Brazil and has Brazilian, French and Lebanese nationalities.

He had use of the Rio apartment -- a luxurious, 800-square-meter (8,600 square-foot) spread with ocean views -- as part of his package at Nissan.

Japanese prosecutors charge that Ghosn under-reported his income by tens of millions of dollars over the past eight years. He denies the accusations.

Ghosn was also dismissed as chairman of Mitsubishi, another partner in an alliance lead by French car-maker Renault and Nissan.

But Renault on Thursday said it was keeping Ghosn as its CEO, stating that a review had found his pay package conformed with French law.

Ghosn's family last week obtained court permission to remove personal effects from the Rio apartment. Nissan objected, saying it feared evidence against Ghosn could be taken or destroyed.

- 'Suspected' company papers -

Nissan said in its statement that its representatives had been allowed on Thursday to accompany Ghosn's family inside the apartment -- but were prohibited from witnessing the opening of the safes and seeing what was removed from them, or reviewing documents taken.

The representatives saw family members "removing two plastic folders containing documents from a wardrobe," one of which had a Nissan logo and another with the title "Resende Plant."

"We believe that these documents cannot possibly have been of a personal nature" but rather of a "suspected corporate nature," Nissan said.

It said it "strongly objected to the unusual and irregular" court decisions preventing its representatives from determining what documents were taken or noting them in an inventory.

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