Nissan Motor officials found safes in an apartment in Rio de Janeiro provided to its ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn. They suspect that the safes may contain assets that Ghosn allegedly purchased illegally.
Court filing shows that Nissan officials found 3 locked safes on November 30th as part of an in-house probe into the alleged financial misconduct by Ghosn. They are seeking permission from a court in Brazil to open them.
Ghosn has been indicted in Tokyo for underreporting his income. He is also suspected of having Nissan buy the Rio apartment and other properties elsewhere.
His relatives say what's inside the safes are personal assets and filed a lawsuit seeking access to the contents.
The court rejected the request on Monday after Nissan objected to grant them access, citing the risk that they would destroy evidence of wrongdoing.
The automaker has reportedly changed the locks to the apartment to block the relatives from going inside.
The property was bought in 2012 by a company registered in the British Virgin Islands, known as a tax haven. A Nissan subsidiary is believed to have been involved in founding the company.
Ghosn stayed at the apartment with his family a few times a year.