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Nissan said to expand Ghosn misconduct probe to include Renault alliance

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Ghosn was arrested in Tokyo on Monday.

PARIS — Nissan’s investigation into alleged misconduct by Chairman Carlos Ghosn is expanding to include Renault-Nissan finances, sources told Reuters — in a further sign that Nissan may seek to loosen its French parent’s hold on their global carmaking alliance.

Nissan told Renault’s board on Monday it had evidence of potential wrongdoing at Renault-Nissan BV, the Dutch venture overseeing alliance operations under Renault’s ultimate control, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

The private communication from Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa came as the Japanese automaker, 43.4 percent-owned by Renault, announced that an investigation had uncovered misconduct involving Ghosn including under-reporting of his compensation and personal use of company assets.

Renault and Nissan both declined to comment.

Saikawa, once Ghosn’s protege, also announced plans to try and strip Ghosn of his chairmanship, after the 64-year-old industry veteran was arrested in Tokyo along with fellow director Greg Kelly.

Neither of the detained men has had the opportunity to comment publicly on the allegations against them.

The 19-year history of the Renault-Nissan alliance, enlarged in 2016 year to include Mitsubishi Motors, has been marked by tensions among the automakers and the French government, Renault’s main shareholder with a 15 percent stake.

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