Ex-Nissan boss opens up about Japan music box escape
he former Nissan chairman first explained how he was smuggled out of a box in Japan to avoid prosecution in the country.
Carlos Ghosn told the BBC how he disguised himself to sneak through the streets of Tokyo before climbing into a musical equipment box and boarding a private jet bound for Lebanon.
He said: “The plane was supposed to take off at 11 pm. The 30 minute wait in the box for the plane, waiting for it to take off, was probably the longest wait I have ever had in my life.
In total, he would spend around 90 minutes inside the box, he added.
Mr Ghosn, who previously ran Nissan and Renault, was arrested in November 2018 on allegations he embezzled company funds – an allegation he denies – and taken to a detention center where he was locked in a cell.
If found guilty, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
He was then released on bail and placed under house arrest, from where he staged his dramatic escape in December 2019.
Previously, the businessman, who has Brazilian, French and Lebanese passports, declined to explain how he managed to flee the country.
Of his arrest, he told the BBC: “It’s like you’ve been hit by a bus or something really, really traumatic has happened to you.
“The only memory I have of that moment is shock, frozen trauma.”
While at Nissan, he embarked on heavy cost cuts and claims to have been “collateral damage” in a fight between the Japanese automaker and Renault, which owns 43% of the company’s capital.
He said that using a box of musical equipment made “the most sense, especially since at that time there were a lot of concerts in Japan.”
On the day of his escape, he would behave as normally as possible – walking around, dressing in a suit – before switching to jeans and sneakers and traveling by high-speed train to Osaka from Tokyo where a private jet l ‘waited.
He was helped in the box by US citizens Michael and Peter Taylor, who face three years in a Japanese prison for their role, and flew to Turkey before traveling to Lebanon.
Mr Ghosn added: “When you step into the box you don’t think of the past, you don’t think of the future, you just think of the moment.
“You are not afraid, you have no emotion other than the huge focus on ‘this is your chance, you can’t miss it. If you miss it, you will pay for it with your life, with the life of a hostage in Japan ”.
He remains in Lebanon, which does not have an extradition treaty with Japan.
Greg Kelly, a former Nissan executive close to the former boss, faces jail time if convicted of helping Mr. Ghosn underestimate his salary by tens of millions of dollars. He denies the charges.