File photo of Former Nissan Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn. (Image: Reuters)
New Delhi: Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn, who fled to Lebanon despite being under round-the-clock surveillance in Japan, managed a getaway in a large musical instrument box, according to a report in the Financial Express.
Ghosn was facing trial in Japan, expected to start in the spring, over multiple charges of financial misconduct that he denies. He was arrested following allegations of misappropriation of funds and allegedly shifting more that $16 million of his personal losses towards Nissan when he was the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of the automobile company.
Ghosn, who holds French, Brazilian and Lebanese citizenship, was found in Lebanon on Sunday.
“I am now in Lebanon and will no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied,” Ghosn said in a statement on Tuesday.
Several questions have been raised about how the tycoon managed to get away given the heavy restrictions on his freedom of movement. All of Ghosn’s three passports had been confiscated following his arrest.
Apart from Financial Express, Lebanese TV station MTV also reported that Ghosn had smuggled himself out in a large instrument box with the assistance of a Gregorian music band and a team of former special forces officers.
The report, which did not cite any sources, states that Ghosn, just under 5’6″, was packed up in one of the larger cases and taken to the airport after the musicians had finished performing. What was all the more surprising is that he managed to get through airport security and fly out in a private plane.
A report in the French daily Le Monde, citing unidentified sources, said he had escaped with the help of his wife Carole Ghosn’s brothers and their contacts in Turkey. The contacts reportedly had helped her husband enter Lebanon with an ID card.
Another French newspaper Les Echos, as per an Economic Times report, said Ghosn used a forged passport to flee the country.
Ghosn met Lebanon’s president after his escape from Japan, two sources close to the tycoon said on Wednesday, according to Reuters. One of the sources said Ghosn was greeted warmly by President Michel Aoun on Monday after flying into Beirut via Istanbul and was now in a buoyant and combative mood and felt secure.
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