A Nissan Motor Co. Dubai subsidiary official who sent millions of dollars to a Saudi businessman at the behest of Carlos Ghosn has disagreed with the carmaker's former chairman, sources said.

“It obviously was an unusual outlay, and we did not ask for such funding,” the official who worked at Nissan Middle East was quoted as telling Tokyo prosecutors.

Ghosn, who was indicted in December on charges of financial misconduct and is currently being held at the Tokyo Detention House, has also been under investigation on suspicion of aggravated breach of trust by transferring his personal losses to Nissan.

In connection with the scheme, he had Nissan Middle East deposit a total of $14.7 million (about 1.6 billion yen) to Khaled Juffali, a wealthy businessman in Saudi Arabia, on four occasions between 2009 and 2012.

Investigators believe that the sum is an unaccounted-for expenditure and the money was sent to Juffali to personally benefit both the Saudi and Ghosn, according to the sources.

Ghosn, who was removed as Nissan chairman in November, acknowledged the payment, but he insisted that the outlay was not illicit and was, in fact, compensation for Juffali’s work for Nissan.

He said the remittances were made in return for the part he played in resolving problems at dealers in the Middle East, in lobbying the Saudi royal family on behalf of Nissan and in setting up meetings between Nissan officials and Saudi royal family members and government officials, according to the sources.

Ghosn’s lawyer said it is "extremely difficult to put a price tag on the work needed to secure a meeting with a Saudi royal" and that "no one would do so without compensation."

However, the Nissan Middle East official, who handled the payment, rejected the argument that the money was meant, in part, to reward Juffali for his lobbying work.

The official said if funding is needed for lobbying, it is standard procedure for a subsidiary to request it from the parent company, according to the sources.

The official added that the subsidiary did not recognize the need for any lobbying led by Juffali.

“I just made the remittance at the order from my superior,” the official was quoted as saying.

It has been also revealed that the $14.7 million was not included in Nissan Middle East’s expenditures when the subsidiary examined whether it met its business targets for those fiscal years.

Investigators believe that Ghosn ordered the payment made to Juffali out of his "CEO reserve" fund at his own discretion.

Ghosn had served as Nissan’s CEO since 2001 before becoming chairman in 2017.

Investigators believe that Ghosn had Nissan make remittances to Juffali in return for his assistance in securing a credit guarantee from a bank to cover Ghosn's personal financial difficulties.

Ghosn had signed a contract for a financial derivative known as a swap transaction between the company handling his asset management and Shinsei Bank, a Tokyo-based bank.

He incurred about 1.85 billion yen ($16.6 million) in unrealized losses due to the stronger yen around the time that U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed in autumn 2008.

In October that year, Ghosn moved the rights to the contract from the asset management company to Nissan, transferring the unrealized losses.

The money to Juffali was deposited in connection with the transfer of the rights to the contract back to Ghosn in February 2009.

The Saudi cooperated with Ghosn in securing a credit guarantee of 3 billion yen.

Juffali, who is a member of a leading business group based in Jeddah, has strong ties to the Saudi royal family.

The Juffali family is linked to Lebanon, where Ghosn’s grandfather is from.