Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance ex-head Carlos Ghosn flees to Lebanon
Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance has made a dramatic escape to avoid further prosecution in Japan. In what is being called a heavily choreographed plan involving teams of private security personnel, Ghosn fled to Lebanon. Ghosn was born in Brazil but has spent much of his childhood in the Middle-Eastern country. Ghosn has been accused by Nissan of under-reporting his salary and using company assets for personal use. He was in prison but was out after posting a JPY 1 billion bail.
Japan authorities had placed Ghosn under heavy surveillance. He was under constant camera surveillance, he was banned from travelling abroad and had limited access to technology. There are many theories on how Ghosn actually managed to pull off this dash, some of which are quite outlandish. One such theory suggests that he hid in a music case at the end of music performance in his house. This has been shot down by his wife, who was already in Lebanon, and who is thought to have played a major role in this.
Carlos Ghosn heads the Renault Nissan alliance
It is suggested that Ghosn's escape was meticulously planned out over months, and involved a large team of associates operating in both countries. It is thought that this team whisked him out of his house and got him to a private jet waiting for him at Osaka airport. Data from a flight-tracking website shows that Ghosn travelled to Istanbul, Turkey, before switching planes to get to Beirut early morning on December 30. Ghosn has Brazilian, French and Lebanese passports but these were all in possession of Japanese authorities when he fled. A Lebanese government official has said that Ghosn entered the country on a French passport and Lebanese ID. Japanese officials, including Ghosn's lawyers, claim to have no inclination of the plan. They say that Ghosn has jumped bail, which is a criminal offence. The Lebanese government has stated that they were not involved in helping Ghosn escape.
There is no extradition treaty between Japan and Lebanon, which means that Ghosn is currently not under threat of Japanese persecution. He released a brief statement saying that he had not fled justice but had escaped injustice and political persecution. He is expected to hold a detailed press conference later this week.