Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Ghosn Escape Evolves Yet Again As Japan Mulls Border Tightening

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
planes trains and automobiles ghosn escape evolves yet again as japan mulls border

Perhaps former Renault and Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn will put rumors to rest when he speaks to the media on Wednesday. Then again, the international fugitive, who fled house arrest in Japan to a refuge in Lebanon on December 29th, might remain tight-lipped about the details of his escape, as Ghosn’s main beef is with Nissan and the Japanese judiciary.

As a new week dawns, so too does another take on Ghosn’s flight from justice.

According to Japanese news outlet Kyodo, Ghosn, the subject of an international arrest warrant, made the roughly 300-mile trip to Osaka via bullet train after walking out of his Tokyo home, Reuters reports. Citing a source familiar with the investigation, Kyodo claims Ghosn may have been accompanied by several people.

From there, Ghosn reportedly took a taxi to a hotel at Kansai International Airport. What happened next is unconfirmed, though it is known that Ghosn departed Osaka on a private business jet later that night, bound for Istanbul. The Wall Street Journal reports that the shadowy men helping Ghosn may have smuggled him on board the aircraft in an oversized case designed to hold audio gear, knowing that the luggage was too big to fit through airport scanners. The man-in-a-box narrative lives!

Last week, Turkish private jet operator MNG Jet stated that it had detained seven people, including four pilots, for assisting in Ghosn’s escape and falsifying passenger records. The fallen auto titan, arrested in November 2018 and awaiting trial for several alleged financial crimes, switched planes in Istanbul before arriving in Beirut, Lebanon. Ghosn holds Lebanese citizenship, and it so happens that Lebanon does not extradite its citizens.

Japanese authorities, however, are hoping to change the country’s mind. On Sunday, Japanese Justice Minister Masako Mori said the country had no record of Ghosn leaving the country, adding that the court has revoked the fugitive’s bail.

“I have instructed the Immigration Services Agency to coordinate with related agencies to further tighten departure procedures,” Mori said.

While revoking the bail of a man who’s already fled the country may seem like a weak response, Japan’s options in the matter appear limited. While Lebanon does not have an extradition agreement with Japan, Mori said such a request could be made in a manner that guarantees “reciprocity and the domestic law of the partner country.” She did not elaborate on that comment.

Ghosn reportedly fled Japan after learning that one of his trials was pushed back to April of 2021. In two statements issued after his arrival in Beirut, Ghosn claims he fled a “rigged” justice system, and that his escape was planned without the help of family members.

[Image: Nissan]

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9 of 27 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jan 06, 2020

    "may have smuggled him on board the aircraft in an oversized case designed to hold audio gear" "Banned - on the run." (Apologies to Paul McCartney.)

    • See 4 previous
    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Jan 07, 2020

      @JimC2 Hey...isn't he that old guy that worked with Kanye West?

  • Conundrum Conundrum on Jan 06, 2020

    Hell, this article doesn't say much. Looks like my guess about the bullet train to Osaka last week was correct. Fortune this morning named the two bodyguard types whose names were actually on the two jet's manifests and tells us all about their shady lives.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Jan 07, 2020

      Fortune probably has enough background data to defend itself in court from the people named. TTAC would go broke from a lawsuit like that.

  • TheEndlessEnigma That's right GM, just keep adding to that list of reasons why I will never buy your products. This, I think, becomes reason number 69, right after OnStar-Cannot-Be-Disabled-And-It-Comes-Standard-Whether-Or-Not-You-Want-It and Screw-You-American-Car-Buyer-We-Only-Make-Trucks-And-SUVs.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Does this not sound and feel like the dawn of ICE automobiles in the early 20th century, but at double or triple speed speed!!There were a bunch of independent car markers by the late 1910’s. By the mid 20’s, we were dropping down to 10 or 15 producers as Henry was slashing the price of the Model T. The Great Depression hit, and we are down to the big three and several independents. For EVs, Tesla bolted out of the gate, the small three are in a mad dash to keep up. Europe was caught flat footed due to the VW scandal. Lucid, Lordstown, & Rivian are scrambling to up production to generate cash. Now the EV leader has taken a page from the Model T and is slashing prices putting the rest of the EV market in a tail spin. Deja vu……
  • Michael Eck With those mods, I wonder if it's tuned...
  • Mike-NB2 I'm not a Jeep guy, but I really, really like the 1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe concept.
  • William I'm a big fan of 70s Lincolns. I really liked the 1980s Mark Vl. I thought it was very classy, and I never thought of it as a restyled Town Car. I did own a 1990 LSC, it was black over black leather interior. I loved the LSC as soon as they were introduced. I loved the sound of the duel exhaust, I thought it fit the car perfectly. I never had any problems with it. The 5.0 is a great engine, and never had any issues with the air suspension system. It had the the analog dash and I made good use of the message center. I highly recommend this Mark. The black paint and interior fit the car and me perfectly.