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A security expert reveals the possible thinking behind Carlos Ghosn's wild escape from Japan, which involved 2 planes and a mad dash between Turkey and Lebanon

A security expert reveals the possible thinking behind Carlos Ghosn's wild escape from Japan, which involved 2 planes and a mad dash between Turkey and Lebanon
REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom



Carlos Ghosn, the former head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, fled Japan to Lebanon on Sunday.




Whoever planned Ghosn's escape was likely skilled, Tulane professor and security expert Robert Allen said, but this probably wasn't the work of a reputable security company, which would not want to risk the reputational damage resulting from a botched operation.




To pull off this kind of high-stakes endeavor, you need to plan it in a way that minimizes your odds of being detected. That means traveling at night and using a private airport, Allen said.




While Allen said it is difficult to determine how much money the operation might have cost, he estimated it fell somewhere in the range of a few million dollars.




There has been speculation that Ghosn was transported inside a container of some kind. That scenario would make sense, Allen said, as the alternative, using a disguise, would not hold up to serious scrutiny.




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The security professionals that smuggled Carlos Ghosn out of Japan likely had two priorities, according to Robert Allen, a professor at Tulane and security expert: working quickly and discreetly.
Ghosn, the former head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, had been awaiting trial in Japan after being charged with underreporting his income at Nissan and using company money for personal gain. He has denied those allegations.
Ghosn fled Japan on Sunday evening local time, Reuters reported, ultimately arriving in Lebanon, where he grew up, after switching to a second plane in Istanbul, Turkey. The former auto executive had reportedly learned that his second trial would be delayed until April 2021, which motivated his decision to flee Japan. He has also expressed skepticism about the Japanese legal system, which has a conviction rate of 99%.
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