Informed sources have revealed how the Special Investigation Department of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office was able to arrest former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn (64 years old) for falsely reporting his remuneration in the company’s securities reports. The special investigation team had obtained information from the automaker on when the charismatic executive, who is constantly traveling around the world, would visit Japan in an attempt to size up an opportunity to take him into custody.
Prosecutors obtained information from Nissan on travel to Japan
“If we didn’t arrest both of them at that time, there wouldn’t be another chance when the two of them would be in Japan at the same time, so we viewed it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said a senior official at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office. Inside the prosecutors’ office, momentum was building right before the arrest took place on Nov. 19.
According to informed sources, it is rare for Ghosn, who flies around the world on a Nissan corporate jet, and Greg Kelly (62 years old), the former representative director of Nissan, to meet at the company’s headquarters in Yokohama. “Kelly usually participates in board meetings via videoconference,” said a Nissan executive. “I never see him in person more than once a year.”
The special investigation team made plans to arrest them when they were in Japan together, assuming that if only one of them were arrested, the other would refuse to travel to Japan. The team worked out the details based on information provided by the Nissan side on when they were traveling to Japan, discovering that they were set to arrive at airports in Japan on the afternoon of Nov. 19.
Prosecutors “stop” the car on highway
At around 3 p.m. on Nov. 19, a Nissan corporate jet arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and about a dozen officers from the special investigation team were waiting to meet it. Soon after Ghosn cleared immigration, he was stopped by prosecutors, who told him, “We’re with the Special Investigation Department of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office.” Ghosn was escorted to a vehicle arranged by the special investigation team for the Tokyo prosecutor’s office. Other officers from the special investigation team searched the jet that was parked at the airport for several hours.
Kelly arrived in Japan just after 3 p.m. on the same day. The Nissan side had been asking him to come to Japan for a “board meeting,” but he had apparently hesitated to come to Japan at first and told the company that he “would like to participate in the meeting via videoconference.” After he arrived at Nartia Airport on a commercial airplane, he got into a vehicle arranged by Nissan and departed for the hotel he was supposed to stay at. But while they were on the highway, his driver was instructed by the special investigation team to “stop somewhere closer.” When the driver pulled off the highway to the designated parking area, prosecutors in suits who were waiting nearby got out of their car.
After Ghosn and Kelly both arrived at the Tokyo prosecutors’ office in Tokyo’s Kasumigaseki district, their arrest warrants were read to them and they became “suspects.” They did not undergo any prior questioning on a voluntary basis. The out-of-the-blue arrests made international headlines instantly.