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Carlos Ghosn began escape from Japan ‘on bullet train’ | Business News

By January 6, 2020 No Comments
Shinkansen bullet trains are stopped at Tokyo Train Station

Fugitive former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn reportedly began his escape from Japan with a bullet train journey from Tokyo to Osaka.

Mr Ghosn, who has been awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges, fled via Istanbul to Lebanon to escape what he has described as a “rigged” justice system.

Latest details of the escape were reported by the Kyodo news agency in Japan.

Nissan’s ex-head Carlos Ghosn flees Japan to Lebanon

It began when he left his home – captured by security cameras – at about 2.30pm on 29 December before he arrived some hours later at Tokyo’s Shinagawa station and took the train to Osaka, possibly accompanied by several people.

He then went by car to a hotel near Osaka’s Kansai airport where he boarded a private jet, according to the report.

A company that operates private jets in Turkey said last week that Mr Ghosn used two of its planes to flee Japan, adding that an employee had falsified lease records to exclude the businessman’s name from the documents.

Mr Ghosn had been on bail and forbidden from leaving Japan as he awaited trial.

Japan’s justice minister Masako Mori said the businessman’s “apparently illegal” departure was very regrettable and that there was no record of him leaving the country.

She promised a thorough investigation and said authorities had issued an international notice for his arrest, adding that she had ordered immigration officials “to further tighten departure procedures”.

Japanese officials also said they may still press for Mr Ghosn’s extradition, even though the country does not normally extradite its nationals.

Japan's Justice Minister Masako Mori speaks during a press conference on former auto tycoon Carlos Ghosn after he fled Japan to avoid a trial, in Tokyo on January 6, 2020

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Japan’s justice minister Masako Mori said the businessman’s “apparently illegal” departure was very regrettable

Lebanon has said it received an Interpol arrest warrant for the businessman and that he entered the country legally.

Ghosn, who is of Lebanese origin and holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenship, said he fled Japan because he wanted to avoid “political persecution”.

The car boss previously led both Nissan and Renault.

He was seen by many as the most powerful figure in the automotive industry and after taking the top job at Nissan in 2001 was credited with saving the Japanese company from near-bankruptcy.

But he suffered a dramatic fall from grace when he was arrested in November 2018 and was subsequently ousted as boss.

He faces four charges including hiding income and enriching himself through payments to car dealerships in the Middle East.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. He denies all charges.

After his arrest, he enjoyed an outpouring of support from Lebanon.

The Tokyo district court has now reportedly revoked his bail, meaning authorities would seize the 1.5bn yen (£10.4m) Ghosn had posted on two separate instances to get out of detention.

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