By on December 30, 2019

Carlos Ghosn Rogue Introduction - Image: Nissan

Japanese authorities are attempting to confirm reports that former Nissan and Renault chairman Carlos Ghosn, arrested in Japan in November 2018 and since charged with two counts each of improper financial reporting and breach of trust, has fled the country.

Numerous media reports claim Ghosn, who holds Lebanese (as well as French and Brazilian) citizenship, appeared in Beirut on Monday. How he managed to slip out of the country where he was awaiting trial is still murky.

The conditions imposed on Ghosn by Japanese authorities were strict; the former auto giant’s whereabouts were constantly monitored, his passports were seized, and he wasn’t even permitted to meet with his wife (that condition was eased in late November). Both Ghosn and his wife have long protested his treatment at the hands of that country’s authorities, which held Ghosn in a jail cell for 108 following his arrest.

According to France’s Les Echos, Ghosn arrived in Beirut by private jet, via Turkey. A Lebanese official told AFP that Ghosn had indeed landed in the country’s capital, though neglected to mention the route taken. One source told the Wall Street Journal that Ghosn fled Japan amid fears that he could not receive a fair trial in the country.

Following the reports, state-owned Japanese broadcaster NHK released a rundown of Ghosn’s court-ordered bail conditions, the most prominent being a ban on international travel. With his passport in the hands of his lawyers, Ghosn was forbidden from leaving the country and had to seek the court’s permission to travel in Japan for more than three days. The former executive was being housed in a home in central Tokyo (with its entrance placed under surveillance), unable to speak to his wife without court permission, nor allowed to speak to executives of Nissan dealerships in Oman or Lebanon.

Ghosn’s only access to the outside world was a mobile phone provided by his lawyers. Unable to access the internet, Ghosn was required to submit his communications history to the court.

“Tokyo District Court says it has not changed the condition forbidding Ghosn to travel abroad,” NHK reported. “If his departure from Japan is confirmed, his release will likely be rescinded and his bail of about 14 million dollars forfeited.”

Lebanon, if you’re curious, does not extradite citizens accused of crimes in other countries. While the internet has provided many unsubstantiated claims on just how Ghosn made his way out of Japan, we’ll fill you in on confirmed details when they arise.

[Image: Nissan]

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25 Comments on “The Great Escape: Carlos Ghosn Reportedly Flees House Arrest in Japan, Turns Up in Lebanon...”

  • avatar

    Run Carlos run!

    After the Bitcoin debacle and mount gox, I started to realize what a joke the Japanese government is. Where there was once respect, now there is anger.

    Not such a great country. I wonder if Lebanon has an extradition treaty with JA-PAN.

    Good stuff! National enquirer quality!

  • avatar

    Ghosn in 60 Seconds…

  • avatar

    “Unable to access the internet…”

    Well so much for the coded messages I’ve been sending him via TTAC for the past year.

  • avatar

    So he traveled to Lebanon from Turkey. Turkey is trying to get a domestic auto industry off the ground. Ghosn is an experienced auto industry exec. Will Turkey try to recruit Ghosn to run it’s auto industry? What would the implications be of having a fugitive as CEO?

  • avatar

    What a great way to start a new year.

  • avatar

    Ghosn has money and connections, so a private jet is the obvious answer. There’s much, much less official scrutiny of every kind at private aviation terminals. (Trust me, BTDT.) If it were me I’d be going for a Medivac plane with a gravely ill patient, oxygen mask over face, you get the idea.

    He also has the connections to get another Lebanese passport in a different name, which, given the kind of place Beirut is, may not even be that difficult or expensive. A private jet sighting with a passenger who could be Ghosn has been reported in Beirut. All seems to fall in place.

    Gone Ghosn.

  • avatar

    This is almost as entertaining as the “Where’s Waldo” game they played with Snowden several years ago.

  • avatar

    Billionaire – Justice: 1-0

    • 0 avatar

      Japanese dips**ts – Gaijin: 0-1

    • 0 avatar

      Sense check: Carlos Ghosn is not a billionaire. Estimated net worth is ~$120 million.

      There are only ~2,600 billionaires in the world. In contrast, there are ~14 million millionaires – 5000X more. If you have >$10 million, you’re in the top 5% of millionaires, but billionaire is a different ballgame.

      Justin Bieber (I’m a huge fan of many Canadians) net worth is ~$285 million. David Lee Roth net worth is ~$60 million (same as Mary Barra).

      Jeff Bezos (Amazon) net worth is ~$116 Billion ($116,000 million). In 2016, this figure was ~$45 Billion, so you could say that Jeff Bezos ‘made’ ~$64 million a DAY over the past three years. (That’s a David Lee Roth each day, or more than one Bieber a week.)

      Life lesson: If you are going to work as hard as Carlos Ghosn, get some equity out of the deal – not just a paycheck.

      • 0 avatar

        And if you’re feeling sorry for yourself now, try this out:

      • 0 avatar

        Ooops – 47 million millionaires in the world (14 million in the U.S.) – so 18000X more millionaires than billionaires.

        • 0 avatar

          And each billionaire has 1000x (3 orders of magnitude) more money than each millionaire.

          • 0 avatar

            Yes! Average multi-thousandaire Joe buying $100 radio-controlled car is like a multi-millionaire buying a $100,000 actual car is like a multi-billionaire buying $100,000,000 of something.

            Joe buying a $50K car is like multimillionaire dropping $50M on a nice home or multibillionaire investing $50B in something (GM market cap is ~$53B).

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I take it the CVT in his vehicle didn’t implode.

  • avatar

    Whatever it cost him, he will recoup it immediately via sale of the movie rights to the story

  • avatar

    Good, its obvious his captors were trying to kill him. Good job Ghosn!

  • avatar

    This is going to make a fascinating book one day. And Netflix miniseries. And movie. And web series. And…

  • avatar

    I have no comments. I am speechless.

  • avatar

    Ghosn ghosts Japan.

  • avatar

    Now there’s more details and it seems he hired a sec co. which organized everything, 2 different jets, change in Istanbul. First flight from Osaka and he was transported on board in a flight case of some musical instrument.
    And western people who have court battles in Japan agree that it was right decision. The Times (of London):
    “One American neighbour, Glen Wood, 49, expressed sympathy for Mr Ghosn’s plight in Japan. He said he himself was in a long legal battle with his former Japanese employer. “He was never going to get a fair trial. The Japanese legal system seems always to be on the side of the corporation.
    “In my case, I’ve asked for documents they have in the discovery process and the company won’t turn them over. The judge sides with them. The little guy has the odds stacked against him.” and “Speaking to The Times yesterday, Michael Woodford, the British boss who fled Tokyo in fear of his life after exposing a scandal that rocked the country in 2012, said that Mr Ghosn had made the right decision to leave Japan. Woodford, 59, the former CEO of Olympus, said that he could “understand exactly why Carlos Ghosn did it. There is a grave doubt about whether he would have had a fair trial and I’m very sympathetic to that.” and “Ghosn had accused the prosecutors of malfeasance in his case, the prosecutors have refused to share more than 6,000 files relevant to his legal defence.
    It has also been suggested that a delay in the prosecution case, which meant the trial was unlikely to come to court before April 2021, was the final straw that prompted Mr Ghosn to activate his escape plan.”

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