By on January 6, 2020

Carlos Ghosn Rogue Introduction - Image: Nissan

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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27 Comments on “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Ghosn Escape Evolves Yet Again As Japan Mulls Border Tightening...”


  • avatar
    slavuta

    Good move, Carlos!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I think they allowed him to escape because they could not make a case against him.

      People at that level of income don’t do their own tax returns. They have an army of accountants. tax-lawyers and CPAs do it for them.

      I’m not rich, but I don’t do my own taxes because multiple income streams, tax deductions and exemptions make it too complicated. My CPA doesn’t even do his own taxes, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “…adding that the court has revoked the fugitive’s bail.”

    Ooh, that’ll show him

    Japanese authorities are beginning to look a little bit like Keystone Cops

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I don’t flee countries in secret often, but when I do I somehow contort myself to fit into audio gear cases and catch the next flight to Istanbul.

    “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.””

    I think Carlos the Ghosn wins this one. Lebanon has no reason to help Japan and I doubt has many trade or diplomatic ties to it. The only way he doesn’t win IMO is if Japan lobbies Western Intelligence or the Western diplomatic upper echelon to pressure Lebanon to deport him. Best for Japan to save face and glaze over the whole incident, can always put a Yakuza hit on him years from now after all of this is forgotten.

    • 0 avatar
      RedRocket

      “I don’t flee countries in secret often, but when I do I somehow contort myself to fit into audio gear cases and catch the next flight to Istanbul.”

      Line of the week and its only Monday morning. Well done!

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      No need to contort one’s self to fit into a road case, them come in all sizes. The interior of the majority of the ones I’ve made and use are 89″Lx21″Wx30-40″H and several of us have joked about outfitting one for naps during the long days of the events the equipment is used at.

    • 0 avatar
      Hydromatic

      “The only way he doesn’t win IMO is if Japan lobbies Western Intelligence or the Western diplomatic upper echelon to pressure Lebanon to deport him.”

      I doubt that would happen unless Japan had something particularly interesting for the U.S., et al. to start moving in that direction. Japan should just take the L.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I suppose Carlos won this round, but he will always be the wealthiest man in town who can never leave. Hope he likes it there.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I think I would take Lebanon over a Japanese prison

    • 0 avatar
      ScarecrowRepair

      French law supposedly prohibits extraditing French nationals. I wonder if he will go to France? Not much chance of being intercepted by the US as those Palestinian terrorists were. Would Lebanon prohibit him from leaving, or France prohibit him from entering?

  • avatar
    redgolf

    If he does some how go back to Japan he may very well wind up in a box, either buried or caged with triple security, locks, cameras, chains!

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “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.)

  • avatar
    conundrum

    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.

    https://fortune.com/2020/01/06/green-beret-nissan-carlos-ghosn-japan-escape/

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      “the team behind the extraction was made up of 10 to 15 people… The team took more than 20 trips to Japan and visited at least 10 airports while planning the escape, it said.” Wow.

      [Michael Taylor worked for Disney on Ice. That’s *definitely* shady.]

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

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

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