The wild story of how ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn escaped Japan in a box | Top Gear
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The wild story of how ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn escaped Japan in a box

Former Nissan and Renault boss tells the BBC how he escaped to Lebanon in concert equipment

Published: 15 Jul 2021

Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn has told BBC News about how he escaped Japan following his arrest after allegations of personal financial irregularities.

Ghosn – one of the car world’s biggest figures and among the most successful – was sensationally arrested in November 2018 after an accusation from a whistleblower that he was ‘under-reporting his compensation’ and using company assets for his personal benefit.

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Following his arrest, Ghosn posted bail in April 2019. He was under 24-hour surveillance and had a travel ban imposed upon him. He then managed to flee Japan and made his first public appearance in January 2020 in Beirut.

There, he spoke about the allegations facing him, and the treatment he claims he was subjected to in Japan.

At the time, Ghosn didn’t reveal exactly how he escaped, but in an exclusive interview with BBC News, the former Nissan boss revealed that on a “normal day where I have a walk with normal clothes”, he changed into a different outfit, and made his way from Tokyo to Osaka by bullet train.

Once at Osaka, Ghosn transferred to a nearby hotel and hid inside a music equipment box – the “most logical” idea, apparently, because “particularly that around this time there were a lot of concerts in Japan”.

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He says he was then transported in that box – around an hour and a half – from the hotel to a waiting private jet by Michael and Peter Taylor; a father and son posing as musicians. The private jet then flew to Turkey where Ghosn swapped into a different plane that took him to Beirut.

“When you get in the box, you don’t think about the past, you don’t think about the future, you just think about the moment,” Ghosn told BBC News.

You can watch the full interview here.

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