After former Nissan chairman jumped the bail and fled to Lebanon, reports claim that the fugitive used bullet train and a private jet to escape Japan. Ghosn was awaiting trial in Japan on financial misconduct charges and was not allowed to contact his wife but she reportedly played an important role in planning his escape.
A Japanese news channel reported that Ghosn boarded a bullet train from Tokyo's Shinagawa station on December 29 and got off at a station in western Osaka. The 65-year-old executive took a taxi to a hotel near Kansai airport and availed a private jet to Istanbul. It is believed that the business tycoon switched planes and travelled to Beirut. On December 30, Ghosn was smuggled out from house arrest and reportedly met Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun and had a warm interaction. But the officials have not confirmed the meeting.
Meanwhile, France announced that if Ghosn arrives in the country, he will not be extradited. Speaking to a French news channel, junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said that France never extradites its nationals but the French government had opined that the former executive should not have absconded from Japan’s justice system. The minister said that no one is above the law but if Ghosn, who has French citizenship, arrived in France, the government will not discriminate while applying the rules.
Japanese tax officials had found out that the former Nissan executive diverted corporate money for his private use. The National Tax Agency of Japan had reached the conclusion that Ghosn made donations to a Lebanese University and paid consultant’s fees to his sister using Nissan money. The tax agency had ordered Nissan to pay taxes on the 150 million yen, which was recorded as office expenses for three years since they determined that money was spent for private purpose.
Carlos Ghosn served as chairman and CEO of Renault as well as chairman of Mitsubishi Motors. He was also the chairman of the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance, a strategic partnership between the automobile manufacturers. It is said that Ghosn was working on strengthening Nissan’s relationship with Renault when he got arrested in November last year.