The ongoing investigation into claims that Chinese spies had infiltrated the French carmaker Renault has taken another turn worthy of a pulp spy novel.
A company security agent is now facing charges of “organized fraud,” accused of inventing the claim of industrial espionage that saw three senior Renault executives come under a cloud of suspicion. While those managers now seem totally exonerated, it is unclear if others might face charges in what is now being described as a scam.
The latest twist could further complicate matters for Renault’s chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, who came under fire for his outspoken comments early on in what was billed as a Chinese effort to tap into the French maker’s aggressive electric vehicle program. Complicating matters personally for Ghosn, he also serves as CEO for Renault’s Japanese alliance partner, Nissan, and is now overseeing efforts to try to figure out just how much damage the Asian maker suffered as the result of last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.