Carlos Ghosn: The Escape of the Century Turns Into Embarrassment

  • NEWS
  • Well, this is a story that just keeps getting more interesting, and not necessarily in a spectacular way. Japan was left in a complete state of shock after it was announced that the disgraced former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, had successfully fled Japan, transited in Turkey, and safely landed in Lebanon.

    Ghosn had been involved in a huge scandal since late 2018 after he was charged with underreporting his future compensation and with funneling the company’s money for personal use. After very long proceedings, Ghosn’s trial had been scheduled for 2020.

    by Martin Danker

    From the moment the news of Ghosn’s arrest broke out, a media circus unfolded, making the once hero who had saved Nissan a villain no one could stop talking about. Some people considered that he had to face justice, while others argued that he had become a scapegoat. Regardless of what people thought of the whole situation surrounding Ghosn, no one could deny that he was Japan’s most famous and talked-about suspect. Essentially, Ghosn was an individual authorities would have to keep an eye on at all times to ensure that he followed his bail’s terms.

    Therefore, he’s ultimately escape was something that shocked every single person in the country. How could have Ghosn pulled it off? The man was surrounded by surveillance cameras 24/7, and this was a suspect Japan truly was keeping an eye on. The implications were enough to make this the greatest escape of the century, akin to the famous stories 1963 escape from Alcatraz.

    To make things more astonishing, Japan is an archipelago, meaning that one cannot simply cross a border and successfully escape. Everything about the escape had started to make people’s imaginations run wild as they speculated how things had unfolded.

    One of the first reports was that Ghosn was suspected to have escaped by hiding inside an instrument case, where the former Nissan chairman spent minutes or hours wondering if he could make it to the plane that would eventually allow him to flee Japan.

    According to this report, Ghosn had had guests inside his Tokyo home for a Christmas party, and to entertain them he had hired a band who later helped him escape. It sounded like a meticulous plan, perfect for a Hollywood movie or an expensive show for streaming services like Netflix.

    However, it was later reported that Ghosn had escaped in a much different way:

    He had simply walked out of his apartment. And just like that, Japan’s top suspect had successfully managed to escape.

    But what about the surveillance cameras that were on 24 hours a day? Well, as it turns out, the videos were only checked once a month.

    As the details of the escape became clearer, one thing was certain: the whole situation was an embarrassment for Japan.

    How could it be that those responsible for checking on Ghosn could have let him get away so incredibly easily?

    One of the reasons Ghosn was able to escape was that the whole country nearly shuts down during the New Year holidays, so Ghosn knew that he had the upper hand during this time of the year. This seems like such a huge loophole in the system that it raises the question of just how simple it could be to break one’s bail terms during the New Year holidays. However, while the news has made it sound like escaping from Japanese authorities is an easy task anyone can do, Ghosn lawyer has stated that that is not the case, and that most suspects would not have been able to pull off an escape like that.

    Nevertheless, as Japan and the world awaits for Ghosn to give interviews, the implications behind his escape have become quite embarrassing.

    *Featured Image by zavenjab (Zaven Jabourian) on Instagram