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Renault security boss arrested as spying claims fall apart

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Renault has apologised to the three senior executives from its electric vehicle division who were sacked and accused of spying for China.

The carmaker's security boss was arrested as he boarded a plane for West Africa. He is under judicial investigation for alleged organised fraud.

Paranoid bosses at Renault have now pledged to restore the "honour" of the three men it accused of spying. The three, who were suspended by Renault after the accusation, were Michel Balthazard, director of advanced engineering; Bertrand Rochette; and Matthieu Tenenbaum, deputy director of the electric cars division, the BBC reports.

They were suspended without pay and then sacked in January for ethical issues. Sources at the time said the three were caught red-handed engaging in industrial espionage.

The three had already begun legal proceedings to clear their names.

The supposed spying related to Renault's joint venture with Nissan to create electric vehicles.

Meanwhile Dominique Gevrey, a former military spy and Renault security boss, was arrested on Friday as he prepared to fly to Guinea. He is suspected of pocketing payments meant for the supposed secret source of the spying within Renault. Two of Gevrey's colleagues were also questioned over the weekend. ®

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