Three pilots who allegedly helped former Nissan Motor Co. chairman Carlos Ghosn, 69, escape to Lebanon have been acquitted of charges. Reuters reported on May 30.
Ghosn fled to Lebanon via Turkey from Kansai Airport in December ’19 while out on bail. The three men, including the pilot of the private jet used by the Turkish private airline, were sentenced to four years and two months in prison, but were acquitted in an appeals court ruling in April. (A reporter from the society section of a national newspaper)
Ghosn is still in Lebanon. His life seems to be extremely elegant. An acquaintance tells us what is going on.
Since 2009, Ghosn has been giving a special lecture for businessmen at the prestigious Holy Spirit University every year in early spring. The course fee is an extremely high $20,000 (approximately 2.8 million yen). However, because the lecturers include former CEOs of automobile companies from around the world who were recruited through Ghosn’s personal connections, the lectures are popular among some executives. This year, participants came from 16 countries, and a graduation ceremony was held in May.
1.8 Billion Yen in Nissan Assets Used to Purchase Condominium
Based on his experience as CEO of Nissan and Renault, it appears that he has not abandoned his ambition to become a businessman.
About 50 km north of Beirut is the resort city of Faraya, where Ghosn has a villa. Recently, Ghosn was invited by the city’s mayor and city council to actively advise them on the tourist cable car project.
It appears that he made an offer through an acquaintance to meet with the foreign minister of Iran, who was visiting Lebanon at the same time, but this offer was turned down. An electric car factory was being set up in Iran, and he may have thought that he wanted to be involved in the business,” said the acquaintance.
While the economic crisis in Lebanon continues, Ghosn, who is said to have assets of 7 billion yen, is living a luxurious life in a super-luxury apartment in Beirut.
It has been revealed that during his time at Nissan, Ghosn was provided with luxury residences in France, Brazil, and Lebanon through overseas subsidiaries. Nissan funds amounting to approximately 1.8 billion yen were used to purchase a luxury condominium in the center of Beirut.
The defendant Ghosn refused to be evicted and continues to live there, saying, ‘I have a contract with Nissan that it will be my property after I retire from Nissan. He also has villas here and there.
An international arrest warrant has been issued for Ghosn from Japan and France through the International Criminal Police Organization, and the investigation is ongoing. The French judicial authorities are taking a strong stance against money laundering and other corruption, including an international arrest warrant issued in May of this year for the governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon for his involvement in money laundering and other corruption cases. Depending on the Lebanese government’s refusal to extradite him, there is a possibility that Ghosn may suddenly be arrested. The situation does not allow for optimism.
Interview and text by： Shun Kirishima
PHOTO： Takero Yui