crime

Ghosn seen on security camera leaving Tokyo home alone on Dec 29

58 Comments
By ERIC PIERMONT

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

58 Comments
Login to comment

He hadn't yet been charged with any crime and from the court's point of view it would have been far safer to let him keep his gaijin card than a passport - as far as I know you can't leave Japan on a residence card. Nor would it do him any good getting into any other country if he were to escape.

If he hadn't been charged with a crime then his flight would have been legal, not to mention his need to pay nearly 30 Mil in bail money!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is too hilarious.

I have visions of the "Benny Hill Theme" playing as Ghosn walks out of his home alone and past numerous cops and security cameras on the way to Lebanon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan being red faced I disagree with. Imagine being CEO of successful global car company and now hiding in a third world country and having to watch over your back the red of your life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Funding terrorism is illegal Carlos....Account for all money. In Lebanon everyone knows someone who's involved with terrorist groups.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And the point is if we had to choose between keeping money or escaping to be finally with your family, and especially wife, guess family is more important no?

What about choosing not embezling millions and not involving your son and wife in offshore money laundry ? There would be no need to escape to be with important family.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How in the hell did he get from Tokyo to Osaka, to an island airport, an he was charge 10 thousand an hour for use of the plane from Turkey

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ghosn in the shell, you can smuggle a person in a diplomatic pouch, Diplomats cannot be searched

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How do you figure? This shows how Japan is a security nightmare. They have claimed they are high tech and will use facial recognition and spot any potential threat at airports, drugs, etc., but they can't even notice one of the highest profile cases and a suspect with the highest flight potential walk out the front door, to the airport, and board a plane to leave the country. If I were a nation that could suffer a potential terrorist threat and is about to host one of the world's biggest events in an already population dense area, I'd be screaming at the people responsible. As it is, I can't help laughing.

Now they don't have to deal with the scrutiny and pressure from the rest of the world with Ghosn sitting in a jail during the 2020 Olympics. If they didn't want him to escape they wouldn't have let him escape. I think everyone here is underestimating the competence of the Japanese authorities and police. I wouldn't be surprised if the Japanese authorities drove him to the airport, handed him his passport and flew him out. They could have pretended to be the so called "security team" sent to help Ghosn leave and even Ghosn himself wouldn't know who actually helped him get out the country. There's no other way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not much imagination is required to figure out plausible ways he may have escaped detection at an airport. The near New Year timing and his going alone made it less likely to raise suspicion or to be spotted.

Here's but one possible scenario. Suppose a locker enroute contained a standard bag as well as the uniform of a cabin crew for a private jet. At some point he could enter a washroom and change into it. Suppose a false passport and ID tags were also in that locker. Security would be less vigilant about examining the documents of someone dressed as (say) a co-pilot or flight crew as they'd be operating on assumptions that they were legit. Though not without risk, it would not be without possibility to blend into a flight crew and board such a flight without suspicion.

Now if I can think of that in less than half a minute, sophisticated, international smugglers and their hierarchies of operatives can do a whole lot better in multiple creative ways.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Frank Ahanon

guarantee for his bail is huge for us, not for him. And the point is if we had to choose between keeping money or escaping to be finally with your family, and especially wife, guess family is more important no?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tiger_tanaka: "This was the best outcome for Japan especially with the 2020 olympics."

How do you figure? This shows how Japan is a security nightmare. They have claimed they are high tech and will use facial recognition and spot any potential threat at airports, drugs, etc., but they can't even notice one of the highest profile cases and a suspect with the highest flight potential walk out the front door, to the airport, and board a plane to leave the country. If I were a nation that could suffer a potential terrorist threat and is about to host one of the world's biggest events in an already population dense area, I'd be screaming at the people responsible. As it is, I can't help laughing.

TigersTokyoDome: "As I wrote earlier today, Japan turned a blind eye to Ghosn's escape. It's a win-win situation for Japan."

No, not at all. Again, they are being laughed at on the world stage, and their security measures, police tactics, and more are being thoroughly scrutinized and questioned. It's only "win-win" for the domestic media and people with their heads in the sand.

Kazuaki Shimazaki: "I have never heard of a country that does not allow confessions."

"Allowed" and "forced" are two very different things. How many of those other nations have admitted to forced confessions and bragged about a 99% conviction rate? How many don't allow cameras in interrogation rooms?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He didn’t escape, Japan let him go. Part of the numerous preparations for the Olympics which seemingly trumps all common sense and can make Japanese move mountains unlike any other country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You do not need your resident card or a passport to travel inside Japan. All you need is a boarding pass, ID is not asked at airports or for the Shinkansen. I travel for work weekly and never had to present anything.

It is only required if you check-in to a hotel.

I highly doubt this is correct. Unless the laws have changed, my understanding is that Japanese law forces all non-Japanese nationals to carry their residence card with them at all times. Failing to do this and present it to a police officer when prompted can result in arrest and jail time + a fine. In addition, all tourists must carry their passports with them at all times.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Please understand the 99% conviction rate. That is because courts don't prosecute cases that don't have hard evidence. Those cases are all dismisssed. Since only cases with hard evidence are actually tried, there is a 99% conviction rate.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wouldn't it be great if he left his house dressed in the same workman's clothes that he was forced to wear when he left prison.

@spitfire he wasn’t forced to wear them. His lawyer advised him to do so to avoid the media

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So, he wasn't wheeled out in a Double Cello case ?

Perhaps instead, he was given a return ticket to Lebanon under an agreement that he'd return after the New Year ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting he left at noon would have thought late afternoon would have been safer, oh he had a flight to catch:0)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You do not need your resident card or a passport to travel inside Japan. All you need is a boarding pass, ID is not asked at airports or for the Shinkansen. I travel for work weekly and never had to present anything.

It is only required if you check-in to a hotel.

Hotel need passport really? Like Numan said Japanese Govt issued ID is enough. Passport is needed if you were a tourist in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It was reported that in Ghosn's last hearing. One of his two trials was scheduled for April 2021.

Therefore, he wouldn't be able to see his wife for another or leave Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Smart time to pull it off: The day when half the cops in Japan are drunk at some bonenkai or sleeping off a hangover from one the previous night.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It is only required if you check-in to a hotel.

You only need government issue ID. If you have a Japanese driver's license then you only need to show your residence cards:

1) Police

2) Local government

3) Immigration

Every other situation is illegal, and you have the right to refuse even banks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think you got it right, TigersTokyoDome. Anyway, I am glad he got out.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Could it be as simple as walking away? Wow.

I never doubted it. He was retained only by his promise. That's what a bail is.

He was not under-arrest, nor under home-arrest. He was free to go anywhere in Japan with a limitation to 3 nights of sleeping out of his house. His PR was crying over his lack of freedom but that was pure BS.

It was obvious that the handling of passports was not preventing anything. While airports check passport/visa status to let you board on commercial lines that's less strict for other flights and on small aerodromes. Plus there 50 000 ports where only the stray dogs can see you leaving.

The French will betray Ghosn in a hearbeat.

He betrayed us. He was given French nationality as a favor. Now, it's a shame to have that as a compatriot.

One of the initial charges of failure to declare deferred revenue is itself minor

So minor that the US Stock Exchange (where Nissan is a small player) took a $16M fine and banned Ghosn from managing a business in the States. But, sure, it's the smallest fraud of his. Sometimes the police has to arrest a suspect of a bank heist for a speed ticket. The other arrest warrant is not yet printed and signed, but if they wait, the guy will flee. Ghosn did a 200 million euro heist.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He paid a huge sum of money down as a guarantee for his bail the purpose is that if he jumps bail the money will be forfeited. Why is nobody commenting on such a huge some of amount?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As I wrote earlier today, Japan turned a blind eye to Ghosn's escape. It's a win-win situation for Japan.

You can't leave Kansai airport without passport ID and Ghosn would have been picked up by the most novice passport control officer. Now all these stories about picking him up on security cam. Private flights can't depart without their passengers going through passport control. Abe turned his back on the private flight.

It's the best scenario for Japan as they can now blame him 100% without going to legal trial, without international condemnation in case they needed to jail him, plus they keep GBP10M of bail money, and they can spin the whole blame on the foreigner boss.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

You do not need your resident card or a passport to travel inside Japan. All you need is a boarding pass, ID is not asked at airports or for the Shinkansen. I travel for work weekly and never had to present anything.

It is only required if you check-in to a hotel.

How about if you're riding your bike, say, and are stopped by the police? Have you never been to the kuyakusho to get documents? Or a parcel from the P.O.? You're almost always asked for your residence card. Ghosn lives a very different life to me so I don't know what situations he might've needed his card but you're right that it would've been required to check into a hotel (if he didn't have a passport he could show).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

WeiWei

It is only required if you check-in to a hotel.

We're not legally obliged to show our cards at a hotel.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

strict conditions -- including.......living under surveillance.

And he just walked out??? And then was able to travel to Osaka, board a private plane and take off without being noticed???

Something doesn't add up here.

Either those keeping an eye on the highest profile alleged criminal in the country were hilariously inept or they deliberately allowed him to walk in order to save face from a humiliating legal back down/defeat. Did they make a deal with him like "We'll let you 'escape' in exchange for your silence about such and such"? Or did something else fishy happen? I'm very curious.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Tom Today 07:49 pm JST

Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

That has never been interpreted in a way to ban the use of pre-trial or even pre-indictment preventive detention, or police interrogations ... etc.

(a) To be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him;

I don't think he was deprived of this.

(b) To have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence and to communicate with counsel of his own choosing;

(c) To be tried without undue delay;

If he is complaining about his trial getting delayed, I assume that he must have had "enough time and facilities" to prepare his defence, and we simply don't know enough the case to know if the delay was undue. This is a complicated financial case, not a simple theft.

(d) To be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing; to be informed,

He has been given the opportunity. He fled.

if he does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient means to pay for it;

He clearly has sufficient means to pay for a lawyer.

(e) To examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him and to obtain the at tendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;

Nobody has even complained that has not happened. They just wanted a fishing expedition for E-mails.

(f) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court;

He has been in Japan ten years. If he can't speak Japanese...I'm sure he can hire an interpreter, in any case, even if one is not provided him.

(g) Not to be compelled to testify against himself

I have never heard of a country that does not allow confessions.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This seems to contradict the musical instrument smuggling reports, and how did he get to Osaka without being noticed or followed?

It seems Japan really does shut down during this time of year. I've always thought that is a very bad idea.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While Japan would like to pretend it is a country thats espects the rule of law, its record is one of arbitrary abuse of the basic principles of civilized nations. And even thoughit a signatory, it is blatantly in violation of the basic principles of the defense provided for by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and notably Article 14:

2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

3. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, everyone shall be entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality:

(a) To be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him;

(b) To have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence and to communicate with counsel of his own choosing;

(c) To be tried without undue delay;

(d) To be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing; to be informed, if he does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient means to pay for it;

(e) To examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him and to obtain the at tendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;

(/) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court;

(g) Not to be compelled to testify against himself

0 ( +5 / -5 )

A French minister, meanwhile, said France "will not extradite" Ghosn if he arrived in the country "because France never extradites its nationals."

Don't believe them. The French will betray Ghosn in a hearbeat. Imagine having French and Lebanese passports, and choosing Lebanon over France. That says it all. Even French citizens don't trust France.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The passport was kept in a locked box, doesn't say what kind of box. Could have been a cardboard box, plastic box, even a paper box can have a lock.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It sure looks like the people commenting have not travelled inside Japan?

You do not need your resident card or a passport to travel inside Japan. All you need is a boarding pass, ID is not asked at airports or for the Shinkansen. I travel for work weekly and never had to present anything.

It is only required if you check-in to a hotel.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

“His home in France was searched in June as part of a probe into his sumptuous marriage celebrations at the Palace of Versailles in 2016, but has not yet been charged with any crime in the country.”

Ha ha, I’m looking forward to when his home in France is charged with fraud. Will it then flee the country in a private plane?

Invalid CSRF

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It's looking more likely that someone higher up within the Japanese government helped him leave but they're pretending he escaped. If they dropped charges against him the whole country would lose face. This was the best outcome for Japan especially with the 2020 olympics.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

The Japanese probably helped

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Yubaru;

Ok residency card then. I think you know what I meant.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@Ah_so

I guess to get a gaijin card you have to both apply for one and also be legally resident in Japan. Ghosn didn't qualify and would have been ill-advised to apply for one under the circumstances.

He'd been in Japan for something like 20 years so he would have had a gaijin card - why would they confiscate it when it's required by all foreign residents? He hadn't yet been charged with any crime and from the court's point of view it would have been far safer to let him keep his gaijin card than a passport - as far as I know you can't leave Japan on a residence card. Nor would it do him any good getting into any other country if he were to escape.

I'm wondering whether he went through normal emigration at Kansai airport or did he get help avoiding the usual departure channels? If it's the first then he would have needed a different passport to the French one he had since any passport with Carlos Ghosn written in it would have sent off alarm bells.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The more that comes out the more comical Japan looks, from the justice system down. Other then leaked media conjecture there has been no actual proof of wrong doing. Even after a year of investigation by Japan's finest. He was under CCTV watch, but apparently no one was actually watching. Managed to board a plane no one watching. Organised the whole thing while being watched, had an extra passport condoned by the courts. In a locked briefcase...are you kidding. The dude is a multi millionaire and smart enough to save an international company, not such a stress to outsmart local authorities.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I guess to get a gaijin card you have to both apply for one and also be legally resident in Japan.

There is no such thing as a "gaijin card" here in Japan, and there hasnt been one for at least a decade now.

As a long term resident of Japan, Ghosn would have had one, it's called a residency card and is issued at many ports of entry into Japan.

http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/zairyukanri/zairyukanri_flow.pdf

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Either way what a win. Either he paid them off or the Japanese police and those responsible for his surveillance were so incompetent as to let him literally walk away. I’m really hoping it’s the latter. The world is laughing at Japan.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Wouldn't it be great if he left his house dressed in the same workman's clothes that he was forced to wear when he left prison.

You beat me by 5 minutes! lol

5 ( +5 / -0 )

with the 99 % conviction rate, Carlos was already guilty according to they system, because in Japan, if it gets referred to the prosecutor office, your likely to get convicted. Where Japan is different from other countries, is that allot of crimes wont make it that far, if no chance of conviction. Face saving is hugely important here.

Why Carlos decided to hold out initially, is puzzling, as he was already deemed guilty.

perhaps he got frustrated with his legal defense.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I'm looking forward to seeing the CCTV. Was he disguised or simply walk out as though going for a stroll?

Maybe the standard Japanese combini robber uniform of sunglasses + surgical mask? I think he just walked out as is though. Yesterdays reports about being smuggled out in a cello case I did not believe for a second.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Ah so,

Wouldn't it be great if he left his house dressed in the same workman's clothes that he was forced to wear when he left prison.

Whatever......good on him.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Carlos Gone caught them off guard, getting ready to celebrate the New Years. Judging from the reaction, they didn’t just let him go. The Prosecutors, Police, and Immigration authorities have only themselves to blame.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

When's the book and movie going to come out?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Walked away! Love it, red faced police I bet!

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I'm looking forward to seeing the CCTV. Was he disguised or simply walk out as though going for a stroll?

Even so, the question must be why no one noticed him leave. Or if they did, didn't notice him come back.

Ghosn obviously took advantage of the year-end when the authorities' guard was down. This is really going to ruin a lot of people's 2020.

The other question is how he got into Kansai airport - was he snuggled through? I doubt he walked through immigration. But then again, this whole thing is so crazy that anything is possible.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Japan is learning all the wrong lessons from Ghosn's escape. Instead of using this to review its much criticized hostage justice system and implementing some reforms to bring it in line with international standards befitting a 21st Century developed democracy, they are talking about halting some stupid thing called "bail leniency for foreigners" whatever that means. Everyone knows there is nothing like bail leniency. Ghosn fled because he was convinced he would not receive a fair trial. You can't fault him for that. The Japanese INjustice system rampantly flouts international conventions that Japan has signed and is part of. It is inhumane, it is discriminatory, it is unjust. It needs TOTAL overhaul. It makes you wonder just how competent are Japanese prosecutors? A system that is dependent on forced confessions to derive a 99.9% conviction rate. How ridiculous.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Why did the court allow Ghosn to keep a second French passport when a gaijin card is enough to travel inside Japan? 

I guess to get a gaijin card you have to both apply for one and also be legally resident in Japan. Ghosn didn't qualify and would have been ill-advised to apply for one under the circumstances.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

A court in Tokyo had allowed Ghosn to keep a second French passport as he needed one to travel inside Japan, a source close to the matter has told AFP. According to this source, the Japanese court had allowed Ghosn to keep the passport so long as it was kept "in a locked case" with the key held by his lawyers.

I wrote this before but it's worth repeating.

Why did the court allow Ghosn to keep a second French passport when a gaijin card is enough to travel inside Japan? And even if he needed a passport how could he get access to it if was in a locked case that he didn't have the key to?

Also one of the reasons for refusing him bail, ostensibly, was that he was a flight risk. Again, why did the court allow him this passport? Doesn't add up.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

And Japanese authorities were...? Sleeping in the Koban again, so to speak? Boy this sure has Japan embarrassed!

14 ( +21 / -7 )

Interpol, the international police cooperation body, has issued a red notice for Ghosn's arrest in the wake of him fleeing Japan

They can't touch him in Lebanon or France -

Lebanon and Japan do not have an extradition agreement under which Ghosn could be sent back to Tokyo.

A French minister, meanwhile, said France "will not extradite" Ghosn if he arrived in the country "because France never extradites its nationals."

Ghosn was able to enter Lebanon on a French passport, according to airport documents seen by AFP.

A court in Tokyo had allowed Ghosn to keep a second French passport as he needed one to travel inside Japan, a source close to the matter has told AFP.

According to this source, the Japanese court had allowed Ghosn to keep the passport so long as it was kept "in a locked case" with the key held by his lawyers.

Guess he had a spare key or a sledgehammer.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

A court in Tokyo had allowed Ghosn to keep a second French passport as he needed one to travel inside Japan, a source close to the matter has told AFP.

I never understood why they would take 3 of his passports and leave him 1, whether locked up or not.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Could it be as simple as walking away? Wow.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

H is accused of everything but could not be in charged since he was not the CFO ! And impossible for him to know how to declzre his revenuds from a fiscal standpoint. Obviously he cannot be that guilty.

Japan manes him a criminal for business political reasons while we all concur that he may have to pay just fines.

How corrupt the legal/political Japan system is.

Perhaps Carlos flew the jet back home himself ;)

Reality sometimes exceeds fiction ;)

Patience is virtue.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites