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  1. #1
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    Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn 'escape'

    Fallen Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn makes improbable 'escape' from Japan

    31 Dec, 2019 09:10


    The former head of Nissan-Renault alliance Carlos Ghosn has fled Japan, where he had been held for more than a year and was set to face trial on criminal charges.

    The executive reached Lebanon, one of the countries where he has citizenship. It would be hard for Japan to get the celebrity fugitive back, since Beirut has no extradition agreement with Tokyo.

    “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, in flagrant disregard of Japan’s legal obligations under international law and treaties it is bound to uphold,” Ghosn said on Tuesday.

    “I have not fled justice - I have escaped injustice and political persecution,” he stated, adding that he will finally use the opportunity to freely communicate with the media starting next week.

    It is unclear how one the world’s prominent and most recognizable businessmen managed to get out of Japan, given that he was under police surveillance while out on bail after serving months in a Japanese jail cell on charges of financial wrongdoing. Ghosn needed a court permission to travel even across Japan, not to mention overseas. All his communication channels, including mobile phone and the Internet, were severely restricted.

    Interestingly, all Ghosn’s three passports were required to be held by his lawyers, who said they were “surprised” by their client’s “inexcusable” behavior.

    As a French citizen, Ghosn would be able to get consular support from France, junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said on Tuesday. However, the minister said she was “very surprised” by the news of the escape.

    The former Nissan head was arrested in November 2018 and charged with financial misdeeds, including hiding income and enriching himself through payments to dealerships in other countries. During his arrest, Ghosn was subsequently stripped of leadership roles in Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance. The former executive denied all the allegations, calling his detention “outrageous and arbitrary.”

    Ghosn was the driving force behind the creation of the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance, and is widely credited for saving Nissan. When Nissan was on the verge of bankruptcy nearly two decades ago, it was Ghosn who suggested bailing out the Japanese carmaker. French Renault bought 36.8 percent of Nissan in 1999, giving birth to the Renault-Nissan alliance and essentially saving the latter from collapse.

    https://www.rt.com/business/477161-g...japan-lebanon/

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Interestingly, all Ghosn’s three passports were required to be held by his lawyers, who said they were “surprised” by their client’s “inexcusable” behavior.


    Iow they had nothing to do with it and didn't know.

  3. #3
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    In a statement, Mr Ghosn said he had not fled justice but "escaped injustice and political persecution".
    His lawyer said he was "dumbfounded" by the news and that he had not recently spoken with his client.
    It is unclear how the former chief executive officer managed to leave, as he was barred from travelling abroad.
    Mr Ghosn, who has an estimated net worth of $120m (£91m), was one of the most powerful figures in the global car industry until his arrest in November 2018. He denies any wrongdoing.
    His case has attracted global attention and his months-long detention led to increased scrutiny of Japan's justice system.


    The 65-year-old was born in Brazil to parents of Lebanese descent and was raised in Beirut, before travelling to France for further education. He holds French, Brazilian and Lebanese passports.
    But his lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday that Mr Ghosn's legal team was still in possession of his passports.
    "I don't even know if we can contact him. I don't know how we will proceed beyond that," he said. Lebanon has no extradition agreement with Japan.
    Image copyrightAFPImage captionThis house in Beirut belongs to Mr Ghosn. His wife, Carole, was born in the cityMr Ghosn was released on $9m bail in April under strict conditions that barred him from travelling abroad.
    What did Carlos Ghosn's statement say?

    Mr Ghosn released a short statement after multiple news agencies reported he had travelled to Lebanon.
    Confirming he had gone to the Middle Eastern country, Mr Ghosn said he would "no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied.
    "I have not fled justice - I have escaped injustice and political persecution. I can now finally communicate freely with the media, and look forward to starting next week."
    Mr Ghosn has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing since he was first detained. His lawyers have accused the Japanese government of conspiring against him, calling the prosecution's case "politically motivated".
    Mr Ghosn's wife, Carole, told the BBC in June that authorities had sought to "intimidate and humiliate" the couple.








    Media captionCarole Ghosn called for President Trump's support over her husband's legal battleHow he could have left Japan remains unclear. There was video surveillance of his home and he had restricted phone and computer usage.
    He had to surrender his passports to his lawyer, and had to ask for court permission to travel away from home for more than two nights.
    According to Japan's Kyodo News agency, the terms of his bail remain unchanged. Immigration authorities hold no record of him leaving the country, public broadcaster NHK reports.
    A celebrated figure in Lebanon

    Analysis by Quentin Sommerville, BBC News, Beirut
    There's no sign of Carlos Ghosn at his $14m dusty pink mansion in one of Beirut's most expensive neighbourhoods. The building, which is subject to a legal dispute, is empty.
    But the former Nissan boss will have no trouble finding somewhere safe and luxurious to stay in Lebanon. Of Lebanese heritage, Mr Ghosn spent his early years here with family members. He's much celebrated and even appears on one of the country's postage stamps.
    Image copyrightLIBANPOSTHe is also the co-founder of the IXSIR vineyard here, which boasts wines that are rich and "of remarkable elegance".
    Escaping Japan would have been difficult given that his three passports were taken from him, but Lebanon has less than stringent border controls. Mr Ghosn is said to have arrived by private jet on Sunday evening and someone of his stature would have been able to breeze through immigration. When in town, he is often escorted by the security services.
    He's been held in Japan for more than a year and in that time Lebanon has changed dramatically. Months of protests against corruption and the political elite have ousted the prime minister, and there's a full-blown economic crisis.
    Japan gives millions in aid to Lebanon and will want Mr Ghosn returned. He may have successfully fled Japan, but he hasn't escaped his troubles.



  4. #4
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    It sounds like he has convinced himself that he is a real person. Very Butterflyesqque.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Japan gives millions in aid to Lebanon and will want Mr Ghosn returned.
    I think Mr. Ghosn will be giving millions in "aid" to Lebanon as well.

  6. #6
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    Indeed, he will be well looked after.
    Intriguing story, apparently he was smuggled out in a Cello case on account of his size. The band was playing the Great Escape at his Mansion earlier in the evening.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chittychangchang View Post
    I
    His case has attracted global attention and his months-long detention led to increased scrutiny of Japan's justice system.
    Can understand why he is worried about the Japan justice system.

    They have a 99% conviction rate in Japan = once they decide you are guilty, there is no justice system.

  8. #8
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    Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn skipped his $19.6 million bail and escaped Japan by hiding inside a double bass case on a private jet, the Sun newspaper reports.
    https://www.news.com.au/technology/i...96bca43511d7d9

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    Jan. 03, 2020 | 06:23 AM
    Ghosn seen on security camera leaving Tokyo home alone: media

    Agence France Presse
    TOKYO: Fugitive former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn was caught on a security camera leaving his Tokyo home by himself on the day he is thought to have fled to avoid a Japanese trial, local media reported Friday.

    Ghosn was not seen returning home after leaving around noon on December 29, public broadcaster NHK said, citing people involved in the investigation.

    He is thought to have taken a private jet from Kansai Airport in western Japan on that day, heading for Istanbul. It is believed Ghosn headed from there to Beirut.

    The news comes a day after prosecutors raided the residence as part of an initial probe into his flight.

    NHK said police were analysing other surveillance footage, believing there is a possibility he joined someone to head for the airport.

    The camera placed near the entrance of his Tokyo residence showed no suspicious person around the time that Ghosn left, according to NHK and the business daily Nikkei.

    Ghosn, who faced multiple charges of financial misconduct that he denies, won bail in April but with strict conditions -- including a ban on overseas travel and living under surveillance.

    But the executive, who has French, Brazilian and Lebanese nationalities, managed to slip out of Japan on Sunday despite having handed over his three passports to his lawyers.

    Ghosn said on Thursday through the Paris-based agency handling his public relations that he organised his dramatic escape from bail in Japan alone and that his family had nothing to do with his escape.

    According to Japan's Kyodo news agency, Ghosn was smuggled out with the help of two private security operatives who pretended to be part of a group of musicians for a Christmas party at his residence.

    Quoting a Lebanese consultant in Tokyo, Kyodo said Ghosn hid in an instrument case before boarding a private jet -- a scenario a member of Ghosn's entourage has previously denied.

    Interpol, the international police cooperation body, has issued a "red notice" for Ghosn's arrest in the wake of him fleeing Japan, while Turkey announced it was holding seven individuals in connection with his escape.

    Ghosn was able to enter Lebanon on a French passport, according to airport documents seen by AFP.

    A court in Tokyo had allowed Ghosn to keep a second French passport as he needed one to travel inside Japan, a source close to the matter has told AFP.

    According to this source, the court in Tokyo had allowed Ghosn to keep a second French passport so long as it was kept "in a locked case" with the key held by his lawyers.

    Ghosn seen on security camera leaving Tokyo home alone: media | News , Lebanon News | THE DAILY STAR

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Surely Japs are advanced enough to know how challenging it isn't to make a key copy.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wally Dorian Raffles View Post
    Can understand why he is worried about the Japan justice system.

    They have a 99% conviction rate in Japan = once they decide you are guilty, there is no justice system.

    Same as lieland then in it.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    An Interpol arrest warrant has been issued for him if that matters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    An Interpol arrest warrant has been issued for him if that matters.
    That will be the French, pretending they are significant again.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post
    That will be the French, pretending they are significant again.
    Why wouldn't it be the nips then?

    Or the Turks, they are a bit pissed off that he was able to transit Istanbul so easily and have arrested a few airport workers and others.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat HermantheGerman's Avatar
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    Japan should be happy. The scum has left the country.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by HermantheGerman View Post
    Japan should be happy. The scum has left the country.
    Yes but now they have to find another patsy.

  17. #17
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    Ghosn Getaway Jet’s Other Job: Ferrying Venezuelan Gold


    (Bloomberg) -- Trying to move tons of gold or whisk a dictator to safety? Need to extract a corporate executive from house arrest and spirit him across the world?
    The company of choice for Carlos Ghosn’s audacious escape from Japan was a Turkish charter operator whose aircraft have helped with all of that and more.
    Two planes operated by a unit of MNG Holding Co., a conglomerate with hotel, finance and transportation services, made the circuitous route from Osaka to Istanbul to Beirut that surreptitiously carried Ghosn to his home country, according to a senior Turkish official.

    While details are still emerging, the dramatic exfiltration is drawing attention to the company and the private world of charter flights. The Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro has used aircraft from MNG to ship gold to Istanbul. Reza Zarrab, a gold trader who violated U.S. sanctions against Iran, tapped the company to manage his private plane.

    Charter jets give customers a cloak of privacy. Planes are often owned by one group yet operated and managed by a specialty company. Still, tail numbers and registrations can be tracked, partially piercing their secrecy. That’s how MNG’s name has surfaced in the Ghosn drama.
    “I’m sure they’re on everyone’s radar screens now,” said Michael Burton, an attorney specializing in international trade law.
    MNG Jet says customers can do whatever they want with the aircraft they have chartered, as long as it isn’t illegal. It said, however, that it had filed a criminal complaint over the flights linked to Ghosn over what it said amounted to “the illegal use of its jet charter services.”

    “Similarly to a car rental agency, MNG Jet is renting out planes, and does not bear any responsibility for what the passengers do with them,” the company wrote in an e-mailed response to questions. “According to the international aviation code, it is not MNG Jet’s role, responsibility and rights to enquire about the reasons behind the travels or to check the content of the luggage transported by the passengers in the planes.”

    Illegal Jet Use
    For its part, Turkey has detained seven people, including four pilots, and is investigating the Ghosn transport.
    MNG has a significant cargo unit that does business with clients including UPS and DHL. That unit, MNG Airlines, serves Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Germany, the U.K. and the Middle East. A smaller affiliate, MNG Jet, operates at least a half-dozen aircraft out of Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.
    The MNG unit said it leased two jets to two different clients: one scheduled to fly from Dubai to Osaka and then to Istanbul, and another from Istanbul to Beirut. It added that the leases didn’t appear to be connected and that Ghosn’s name didn’t appear on any flight documentation. MNG didn’t provide the names on the leases.
    According to the company, one MNG Jet employee, who is under investigation by Turkish authorities “has admitted having falsified the records.” He also “confirmed that he acted in his individual capacity, without the knowledge or the authorisation of the management of MNG Jet,” the company said.



    When Ghosn boarded one of the company’s aircraft in Osaka, he became the latest passenger on a jet that has been followed meticulously for the last year by amateur sleuths. It has made several trips from Caracas to Istanbul, ferrying gold for a Venezuelan government eager to raise hard currency, according to a person familiar with the matter. Those routes were confirmed by Sweden-based flightradar24.com.
    That Bombardier Global Express, tail number TC-TSR, has “VIP seating for 13” and a range of 6,000 miles. Earlier in the spring, it made a trip to Venezuela, but apparently not for gold. It was dispatched from Moscow to Caracas when an April 30 uprising against Maduro prompted talk of a quick escape. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the plan was to ferry Maduro to safety in Cuba but that the Russians persuaded him to stay. (Maduro never left and called Pompeo’s statement “craziness.”)



    Several weeks later, the same jet transported Venezuelan officials to Oslo for talks with opposition leaders, according to the person familiar with the matter. The government has given the plane a special designation that allows it to avoid customs and security at Caracas’s airport, the person said.
    The company is one corner of a business empire founded by Mehmet Nazif Gunal, a Turkish-born civil engineer. From a construction company he started in the 1970s, Gunal has expanded throughout the Middle East and now employs more than 20,000 people. He also controls Avesoro Holdings, a Channel Islands-based firm with gold mines in Liberia and Burkina Faso.

    Gunal also appears to have a soft spot for Russia. His conglomerate built an 874-room Turkish coastal resort called the Asteria Kremlin Palace, an onion-domed replica of the Moscow original with pools in place of Red Square. He has done well in the Erdogan era and is part of a consortium that’s building a new airport in Istanbul.
    He and a son are taking the company in the Channel Islands, now listed in Toronto and London, private this month.
    It was a competitor of MNG that famously touched off an incident involving a cargo of gold seven years ago. On a foggy New Year’s Eve 2012, Turkish customs officials boarded an Airbus A330 in Istanbul. They found a ton and a half of undeclared gold. The plane was operated by Turkey-based ULS Airlines. (Calls to ULS this week went unanswered.)

    Convicted gold trader Zarrab later said the shipment was part of a broad scheme to channel billions of dollars to Iran for oil shipments, in violation of U.S. sanctions. His own private plane was seized at an MNG hangar by Turkish authorities taking his assets.
    As fate would have it, when Ghosn landed in Istanbul for the final leg of his journey to Beirut, he boarded Zarrab’s former plane. That Bombardier Challenger 300, which flies under tail number TC-RZA, is still operated by MNG.


    --With assistance from Zeke Faux, David Kocieniewski, Christian Berthelsen and Onur Ant.
    To contact the reporters on this story: Neil Weinberg in New York at nweinberg2@bloomberg.net;Ben Bartenstein in New York at bbartenstei3@bloomberg.net
    To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey D Grocott at jgrocott2@bloomberg.net, Alan Katz

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ghosn...103837906.html

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post
    That will be the French, pretending they are significant again.
    fuck off Switch, you irrelevant twat

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    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    Ghosn Getaway Jet’s Other Job: Ferrying Venezuelan Gold


    (Bloomberg) -- Trying to move tons of gold or whisk a dictator to safety? Need to extract a corporate executive from house arrest and spirit him across the world?
    The company of choice for Carlos Ghosn’s audacious escape from Japan was a Turkish charter operator whose aircraft have helped with all of that and more.
    Two planes operated by a unit of MNG Holding Co., a conglomerate with hotel, finance and transportation services, made the circuitous route from Osaka to Istanbul to Beirut
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ghosn...103837906.html
    Why is Osaka-Istanbul-Beirut a "circuitous route" exactly?

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wally Dorian Raffles View Post
    Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn skipped his $19.6 million bail and escaped Japan by hiding inside a double bass case on a private jet, the Sun newspaper reports.
    https://www.news.com.au/technology/i...96bca43511d7d9
    Who fronted his bail? And will they lose their money?

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    small change for him and yes he will lose it, freedom has no price

    kudo to him for a successful escape from another Asian hell,

  22. #22
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    Ghosn but not forgotten?

    In the land of the Brave Blossoms, at least.


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    Ghosn’s great escape


    How months of planning by a team of experts in hostage extraction allowed the Nissan chief to flee justice packed in a concert equipment box.


    Nick Kostov, David Gauthier-Villars, Sam Schechner and Miho Inada report for the Wall Street Journal


    The Times, January 10 2020, 5:00pm

    After months of planning and millions of dollars in costs, Carlos Ghosn climbed into a large black case with holes drilled in the bottom. He had just travelled 300 miles by train from his court-approved home in Tokyo to Osaka.

    It was Sunday evening, December 29, the moment of truth in a plan so audacious that some of its own organisers worried it wouldn’t work. A team of private security experts hired to spirit Mr Ghosn out of Japan hadn’t done a dry run of their scheme to sneak the box containing the former Renault-Nissan executive past airport security, according to a person familiar with the plot.

    That is standard procedure for such a high-stakes smuggling operation. They had cased the airport only twice before, including that morning. “It’s impossible,” one team member had said during the planning.

    Mr Ghosn’s decision to jump bail in Japan set in motion a 23-hour international caper with little precedent. The plot involved advance teams that scoped out vulnerable airports and a pre-dawn plane transfer on the tarmac of a nearly deserted airport in Istanbul. That drizzly evening, two people accompanied the wheeled box — which is typically used to transport concert equipment — through the private-jet lounge of Osaka’s Kansai International Airport, according to an account provided by Japanese authorities.

    The team passed the wood-panelled entrance of the lounge, called Tamayura, or “brief moment,” down a hallway and around a pair of crescent-shaped cream-coloured sofas to the security checkpoint.

    The case containing Mr Ghosn made it past the checkpoint unexamined — it was too large to fit in the lounge’s x-ray machine and no one checked it by hand either, according to the source. The box was then loaded into the cabin of a 13-passenger Bombardier Global Express jet through the rear cargo door. A decoy box, this one actually filled with audio equipment, was also wedged inside the cabin. The plane took off a short time later, flight records show.

    This account of Mr Ghosn’s escape was compiled from interviews with people familiar with its planning and execution, with people knowledgeable about an unfolding inquiry in Turkey and from briefings made by authorities to reporters in Japan.

    Mr Ghosn had been facing a trial that was supposed to kick off later this year. Prosecutors had charged him with financial crimes including hiding tens of millions of dollars in deferred compensation and misappropriating funds belonging to Nissan.

    The businessman denied the charges and posted bail of more than £10 million to remain free, living in a video-monitored home with tight restrictions over who he could see. He assembled an international team of lawyers to defend him in court. In the end, though, he put his faith in a different team — a group of about a dozen operatives, including at least one with experience extracting hostages from war-zone confinement.

    Mr Ghosn has said he arranged his exit from Japan by himself. But this account suggests he enlisted a larger cast of characters. Collaborators started laying the groundwork in the spring, not long after he was released on bail for the second time in April. Associates had considered how to get him out of Japan to a country where he might be able to clear his name more easily. People close to Mr Ghosn began contacting former soldiers and spies to find specialists willing to take on the task.

    By the end of July a security team that would eventually expand to ten to 15 people of different nationalities began planning in earnest. The team was divided into various work streams, each separated from the others so that individuals on one assignment didn’t know what others were doing.


    Among the team, according to people working on the Japanese and Turkish inquiries, was Michael Taylor, 59, an ex-special forces soldier known for his track record of rescuing hostage victims in collaboration with the US State Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Square-jawed, with thick salt-and-pepper hair and a dimpled smile, Mr Taylor is an Arabic speaker with deep connections to Lebanon, where he met his wife when deployed as a Green Beret in the 1980s.

    The New York Times hired Mr Taylor’s former company to help rescue reporter David Rohde from Taliban captivity in Afghanistan in 2009. Mr Taylor more recently served time in am American prison after pleading guilty to two charges stemming from a federal bid-rigging investigation.

    Also part of the team, according to those familiar with the investigations, were: George-Antoine Zayek, a Lebanese-born US citizen who had worked with Mr Taylor over more than a decade. Mr Zayek, a member of the Lebanese Christian community like Mr Ghosn, had been injured fighting in Lebanon in the 1970s and later worked in private security with American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to relatives in Lebanon. The two were identified by Turkish authorities as being aboard the jet that flew Mr Ghosn out of Japan.

    Dubai became one of the team’s forward staging areas. Mr Taylor visited the emirate eight times in the six months leading up to the operation, while Mr Zayek visited four times in the final three months. Sometimes the two men were together and sometimes separate, according to Dubai records viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

    Over the course of more than 20 trips to Japan, operatives scoped out more than ten airports or other ports from which Mr Ghosn could potentially leave the country. The extraction team seriously pursued other options besides airports, including smuggling Mr Ghosn out of Japan by boat. The overall budget for the operation was “in the millions” of dollars.

    To communicate with each other and Mr Ghosn, the organisers often used human messengers. That sidestepped Japanese officials’ restrictions on Mr Ghosn’s internet use; he was barred from using a smartphone so carried a mobile without internet connection. The communications network was used to narrow down dates, times and location, but chatter was kept to a minimum.

    It wasn’t until the autumn that a member of the team first visited the Osaka airport’s private-jet terminal. While the airport is busy, this terminal emerged as a leading candidate for the operation because it was often vacant. It is attached to Kansai’s terminal two domestic flights area and is relatively small — only 3,200 square feet, including a meeting room, a circular lounge, a bathroom and a security zone, according to a brochure.

    Another crucial selling point was that nothing but small bags would fit through the terminal’s x-ray machines — certainly not a large flight case like the one Mr Ghosn would end up using. By speaking to people who had used the terminal, the team learnt that bags were hardly ever checked on the way out.

    By early December the operation to extract the car executive was ready to be activated, with Osaka as the extraction point. Mr Ghosn, though, was still keeping his options open, according to people familiar with his thinking, and the plan could still be called off at the last minute.

    On Christmas Eve Mr Ghosn — having been denied the right for his wife to visit for the holidays — spoke to her for an hour via videoconference, according to his lawyer in Japan. The same day a person identifying himself as “Dr Ross Allen” signed a $350,000 contract with a Turkish private jet operator, MNG Jet Havacilik AS, to book a long-range Bombardier jet for two journeys: first from Dubai to Osaka and then from Osaka to Istanbul, according to booking documents viewed by the Wall Street Journal. The price also included logistical services on the ground in Osaka.

    MNG said it was unaware of the plan and has filed a criminal complaint against an employee it says was complicit in the plot to smuggle Mr Ghosn through Turkey. Turkish prosecutors have charged the employee and four pilots with migrant smuggling. A lawyer for the employee said his client denied wrongdoing. Lawyers for the pilots either couldn’t be reached or declined to comment.

    A pre-trial hearing on Christmas Day hardened Mr Ghosn’s resolve to leave Japan. He believed the court was dragging its feet and would never treat him fairly. Japan’s conviction rate for indicted defendants runs above 99 per cent. The country has defended its system as rigorous and prosecutors promised a fair trial.

    Two days later, Taylor and Zayek arrived together in Dubai for the last time before their trip to Japan, records show. Then, on the evening of December 28, they were off on the red-eye to Osaka. On board their long-range Bombardier jet were the two concert-equipment cases.

    Mr Ghosn left his three-storey Tokyo house at around 2.30pm local time, according to Japanese investigators who outlined the highlights of surveillance tapes to Japanese media. He was captured on video, alone, wearing a hat and a surgical mask common in Japan to protect from germs and pollution. He caught a cab for a short ride to the Grand Hyatt, an imposing hotel popular with business executives and political leaders in the Roppongi district. After entering near a lobby display of bamboo, disco balls and fairy lights put up for the New Year holiday, he met two foreign men, according to the investigators’ account. He narrowly missed Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who checked into the hotel slightly later for an annual holiday.

    Mr Ghosn was able to disappear in part because no one was monitoring his house regularly. His legal team was required to submit security footage only once a month. Security personnel at nearby locations said police and prosecutors didn’t appear to be watching the building. During an early stint in jail, he had petitioned the court to allow him to go free with an electronic ankle bracelet. The request was rejected because Japan doesn’t use the technology. He was later released on bail.

    A private security company hired by Nissan to tail Mr Ghosn had stopped work that day after the businessman’s lawyers threatened legal action against the company for allegedly harassing him, according to a person familiar with Nissan’s plans. A Nissan spokesman declined to comment on the surveillance.

    Mr Ghosn went to one of Japan’s biggest railway stations to catch a bullet train to Osaka. While the train was crowded, risks for this leg of the journey were low as Mr Ghosn was allowed to travel within Japan.

    It was already dark in Osaka when Mr Ghosn arrived around 7.30pm. He took a taxi across town to a hotel in a tall white tower just a ten-minute drive to the airport, according to briefings by Japanese authorities. Mr Ghosn was seen entering the hotel but not leaving it, leading investigators to conclude he climbed into the box at the hotel.

    That night a black van arrived at Kansai’s private jet terminal, where two people were waiting for it, according to a worker who helps airport bus customers with luggage. The van appeared to drop off passengers and left after a few minutes, this person said.

    By 11.10pm Ghosn, Taylor and Zayek were in the air and heading north towards international waters, according to flight records and people familiar with the matter. Only Zayek and Taylor were on the flight manifest, according to people familiar with the Turkish investigation.

    As the plane flew north, passing over Russia, Mr Ghosn emerged from the case but stayed in one of the cream-coloured seats at the rear, so as not to be seen by the flight crew. The jet arrived at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport at 5.12am local time, flight records show. One of the reasons for the stopover was to avoid raising suspicions in Japan with a flight plan connecting Japan with Beirut, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    Ataturk, named after the country’s modern founder, was for a time Turkey’s busiest airport. But since last year it has been nearly a ghost town, with most traffic moving to a new airport that had opened across the city. Before sunrise, Mr Ghosn emerged from the plane into driving rain, leaving behind the concert-equipment case he had occupied, and took a car around 100 yards to a smaller business jet, according to people familiar with a Turkish inquiry into Mr Ghosn’s use of the aircraft.

    Unlike the journey to Turkey, no flight plan was filed for the smaller jet and Mr Ghosn was sitting in a passenger seat. Taylor and Zayek did not accompany him on that final leg.

    As a condition of his bail in Japan, Mr Ghosn had left his French, Lebanese and Brazilian passports in the care of his Japanese lawyer. But after his release from jail the businessman had successfully petitioned the court to allow him a second French passport, arguing that foreigners are supposed to carry passports with them when travelling within Japan. Mr Ghosn used the French passport and a Lebanese identity card to enter the country, according to sources familiar with the case.

    That evening, with Mr Ghosn having made his way to his in-laws’ house, word of the escape began to leak out, first in the Lebanese media and then elsewhere. His PR team in the US issued this statement on his behalf: “I have not fled justice — I have escaped injustice and political persecution.”

    For now, Mr Ghosn appears to be settling into life in Lebanon, where he has invested in a wine estate and had planned to spend more time during his retirement.

    On New Year’s Eve Mr Ghosn and his wife, Carole, went to the house of a close friend for a party. The following day Mrs Ghosn took her husband to light a candle at the foot of a statue of St Charbel, a Maronite Christian saint who lived for 23 years as a hermit in Lebanon. Devotees consider the saint a miracle worker.

    Being reunited with her husband is “the best gift of my life,” Mrs Ghosn texted the Wall Street Journal shortly after his return. “Believe in miracles,” she added. A Japanese court has since issued an arrest warrant for Mrs Ghosn on suspicion of perjury. A spokeswoman for the family called the move “pathetic”.

    Mr Ghosn has been spending time in a pink mansion that Nissan purchased and paid to renovate for his use when he was running the Japanese car maker. Since his arrest Nissan had been trying to evict the Ghosn family, but they have been allowed to stay while the legal battle winds its way through the Lebanese courts.

    Nissan, which views the building as a valuable asset, continues to have the house under surveillance, a lawyer for the company said. Nissan security and Mr Ghosn’s own detail sometimes patrol the property at the same time.


    The inside story of Carlos Ghosn’s great escape | News | The Times

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    I see he now has a travel ban. I'm not sure he would have been going anywhere to be honest.


  25. #25
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    taxexile's Avatar
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    i think he will settle for a quiet retirement in lebanon. he is not short of a few bob.

    travel will be difficult, the japanese will have put out an international extradition request for his return, i dont think lebanon is party to that arrangement.

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