Tokyo prosecutors confiscated the passport and mobile phone of Carlos Ghosn's wife, Carole, when they arrested the former Nissan boss on Thursday morning, his lawyer said, adding that the defense team would "strongly appeal" the latest arrest.

"Ghosn's wife happened to be with him when he was arrested, so they confiscated her passport and her mobile," said Junichiro Hironaka, who heads Ghosn's Japanese defense team.

"His wife is not a suspect ... this is unforgivable," he told a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

Early on Thursday, prosecutors arrested Ghosn again on suspicion of trying to enrich himself at the automaker's expense, in a highly unusual move for someone who has been released on bail.