This is the incredible story of how the Former Car Executive Carlos Ghosn escaped the Japanese Authorities on a route from Tokyo to the safety of Lebanon using different passports.
As the New Year brings adventure, it surely does not disappoint! In the business world, the trial of former Chairman and CEO of Renault, Nissan, and Chairman of Mitsubishi Carlos Ghosn was the awaited trial of the decade.
Many people have asked: how did Carlos Ghosn end up in Lebanon if he was (supposedly) located in Toyko?
Investigative Reporter Alex Martinez Rivera has been working to answer these questions. So, how did Carlos Ghosn escape from Tokyo? Since the journalist’s expertise is in aviation and travel, he can answer many of the questions that have popped up.
House Arrest by Japanese Authorities
Although Carlos Ghosn was under “House Arrest” by Japanese Authorities in Toyko, a house arrest there cannot be compared to the Western Hemisphere or Europe for that matter. There is no GPS bracelet, no confinement to select spaces, and he could walk around his neighborhood and go to the market with no supervision.
I believe that this is going to be changed by the Japanese with the escape of Ghosn. In Japan, he was under a relaxed term for being under “House Arrest.”
The Great Escape of Ghosn from Tokyo to Beirut
The Gentleman has triple citizenship. He was born in Brazil, and he has Lebanese parents who grant him dual citizenship. His time in France on Renault, his studies at the Lycée Saint-Louis and the Polytechnique earn him his third citizenship. The French passport would be crucial for his escape.
Carlos Ghosn has four Passports; Two French, one Brazilian and one Lebanese Passport. The Japanese Authorities dropped the ball, and the effect of this cause is the escape of Carlos Ghosn.
Why utilized Kansai International Airport (Osaka, Japan) as the origin of his escape?
Now, here is where things get tricky as Carlos Ghosn hasn’t talked. I can speculate as to why this airport was selected.
It was a 300 mile trip from Tokyo to the airport. If one does 60 MPH (or 96.6 Kilometers Per Hour), it is a 5 hour trip to the Osaka Prefecture. Security cameras picture him leaving the house around noon, making the private flight around 11 pm local time giving him ample time and room to maneuver any eventuality.
At the airport at Kansai
It is common knowledge that his escapade went through a private lounge. In Japan, it means passing through a security checkpoint. A per official paperwork Carlos Ghosn wasn’t in any official manifest out of Japan. The air charter company MNG Jet placed a police report in Turkey against the employee who helped Carlos Ghosn. Any boxes too big for X-Rays are opened and inspected. It is my belief he came in disguise.
He couldn’t have used his French Passport to get out of Kansai. I believe that, apart from the aiding employee at MNG Jet, he knew key personnel at Kansai International Airport. Making the escape as smooth and unnoticeable as possible requires planning and personally knowing people.
It wasn’t a direct flight to Beirut
There was a stopover and a plane change at Ataturk International Airport in Turkey. Only he knows if he was in disguise during the layover. Once in Lebanon, he presented his French Passport to the Lebanese Authorities. Once the process was complete, he went back home to his wife Carole in time for the New Year!
Can we see a Repeat Performace?
If he did it once most likely can do it again. However, with the media attention attached, I wouldn’t advise Ghosn doing this again anytime soon. As far as Brazil, France, and Lebanon are concerned, he should be safe as a citizen of these countries.
If his plane gets to a third country, Interpol has issued a Red Notice. The result would be seeing Mr. Carlos Ghosn returned to Japan. This Interpol Red Notice is like the FBI Most Wanted list.
My opinion about the escape
I have a motto: With enough planning, anything’s possible.
Carlos Ghosn has demonstrated that my motto can become a reality. If once accomplished enough studying of an environment, it becomes muscle memory, and any environmental situation surpassed.
That is how the militaries around the world train for Special Operations.
There are confirmed reports that a former Green Beret turned Consultant accompanied him during his journey!
This Mission Impossible became more like Mission Possible…
What do you think about the unique flight and travel route that Carlos Ghosn plotted to escape from Tokyo to Beirut? You can leave your comments here.
Featured Image: Kansai International Airport (KIX). The airport has been built on an artificial island in Osaka Bay, Japan. Photo: Kansai International Airport.
Who is Carlos Ghosn?
Carlos Ghosn is French multimillionaire businessman of Lebanese ancestry who was born in Brazil.
He became an internationally wanted fugitive. He was accused of financial wrongdoing, which led to one of the most unique travel routes ever, using different passports for entries into countries.
Ghosn 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.
Photo: Carlos Ghosn, Wikipedia.
Can I use multiple passports while traveling?
Yes, you can use multiple passports while you travel. If you are a citizen of more than one country (called dual citizenship) you are allowed to carry a passport from each country you have citizenship with.
US citizens, who are dual nationals, however, must use their U.S. passport when leaving and entering the U.S.A.
How many airports are there in Osaka, Japan?
Two airports serve the City of saka, Japan:
1. The Osaka International Airport, called Itami Airport (airport identifier ITM), no longer serves international flights in and out of Japan.
2. Kansai International Airport (KIX) airport is Osaka’s newest airport. KIX opened in 1994. The airport was built on an artificial island in Osaka Bay and handles all international flights in and out of Osaka after the international flight operations were discontinued at Itami Airport.
Photo: Kansai International Airport (KIX).
Beirut International Airport (Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport)
Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport (formerly known as Beirut International Airport) is located in in the Middle Eastern country of Lebanon. The airport’s IATA identifier is BEY. (ICAO: OLBA). The airport is located 5.6 miles (9 KM) south of downtown Beirut.
Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport is Lebanon’s only commercial airport. BEY is the headquarters for Middle East Airlines (MEA), which is the national carrier of Lebanon. Charter airlines Med Airways and Wings of Lebanon are also located here.
Photo: Beirut Airport.