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We Need to Talk About: The Curious Case of Carlos Ghosn

  Calvin Fisher

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 3 Jan, 2020



Carlos Ghosn's Escape

Sometimes the news can be stranger than fiction. Like, now…

To put it another way, the story of Carlos Ghosn, ex Nissan boss, and his escape from justice is too odd to make up. But first, let’s talk about the man of the hour.

Carlos Ghosn is the Brazilian-born French businessman who has served as the CEO of Michelin North America, chairman and CEO of Renault, chairman of AvtoVAZ, chairman and CEO of Nissan, and chairman of Mitsubishi Motors. He is of Lebanese ancestry and is currently an internationally wanted fugitive. And recent resident of Lebanon. This is where you say “Wait. What?”. But let’s continue.

We have no idea what the truth is but at this point it’s one part ‘Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?’ and two parts ‘Mr Bean’s Descent Into Chaos’. Either way, we’ll be sure to binge watch the Netflix adaptation.

I start with a dramatisation. Maybe

I say maybe because it hasn’t exactly been debunked. Since Ghosn’s fall from grace, the Persona Non Grata has been under house arrest in Japan where he was being investigated for crimes of a fraudulent nature – this is putting it nicely but another term would be ‘financial misconduct’. So how does he find himself a free man in Lebanon?

Well wait till you hear this juicy tale.

It is alleged that he was smuggled into a musician’s (large) double-bass instrument case. And by musician, I mean covert paramilitary soldier, part of a group of musicians that performed for Ghosn in his home. Yes, the 5ft 6in tall man was smuggled! Squeezed into a 6ft tall case, transported to a small local airport and flown to Istanbul, Turkey, in a private jet. He then boarded a Bombardier Challenger private plane to Beirut-Rafic Hariri airport, arriving at 4am. On a Monday. International outrage ensued.

Since then Nissan themselves have said that it will pursue "appropriate legal action" against its former boss. Also, a British ex-soldier Mike Douglas has denied his involvement in the ordeal, after it was discovered that he had received a large payment (some $175,000) via his Turkish private charter company.

So now not only does Carlos have a Japanese warrant out on his head but so does his wife, Carole. Yes, Carlos’s wife’s name is Carole Ghosn because of course it is. It's no surprise then that Japan is seeking their extradition from Lebanon, despite the country not technically sharing a treaty with Japan. A spokeswoman for Carlos Ghosn had this to say, "The last time Carlos Ghosn announced a press conference and got re-arrested. This time, the day before he is announced to speak out freely for the first time, they issued an arrest warrant for his wife Carole Ghosn."

Carlos has since said, "You are going to die in Japan or you are going to have to get out," when describing his feelings. "I felt like the hostage of a country I served for 17 years," he told reporters crowded into Lebanon's seaside Beirut press syndicate.

Now if this story doesn't sound convoluted enough, we have an amendment that involves two American soldiers allegedly enabling the bold escape, having flown in from Dubai via private jet. We have no idea what the truth is but at this point it’s one part ‘Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?’ and two parts ‘Mr Bean’s Descent Into Chaos’. Either way, we’ll be sure to binge watch the Netflix adaptation.



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