Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


ODD THINGS GET uncovered in decluttering. How about Japanese Manga comics featuring Le Cost Killer, Mr. Fix It, and 2002 Asia Businessman of the Year, now known as Interpol fugitive Carlos Ghosn. I sure wish I read 日本語 better. Indeed, sorting my collection even offered an initial red herring. 

Here, in Parts 1 and 2 today and tomorrow, are tidbits about Carlos Ghosn, his automotive career, and Manga appearances.

A Meteoric Rise. Wikipedia gives extensive details of this businessman of international stature and subsequent notoriety. I summarize them here.

Carlos Ghosn (pronounced “goin’ ”), Brazilian-born 1954, Lebanese businessman of international stature and later notoriety. Image by Nissan Motor Co. 2010 from Wikipedia. 

Ghosn speaks four languages fluently, French, Portuguese, English, and Arabic, and has studied Japanese. An engineer by training, he spent the first 18 years of his business career with Michelin. Earning a reputation of rescuing troubled operations, Ghosn moved to Renault, which he helped turn to profitability in 1997. 

In March 1999, the Renault-Nissan Alliance was formed, with Ghosn being named the latter’s CEO in June 2001. He was successful in bringing Nissan to profitability and widened his responsibilities to roles with Russian automaker AvtoVAZ in 2008 and Nissan’s newly acquired Mitsubishi in 2016. 

The Tokyo Public Prosecutors Office. Image from Wikipedia.

And Fall. On November 19, 2018, Tokyo District Prosecutors arrested Ghosn on allegations of false accounting. These included under-reporting compensation and using company assets for personal use. Residences in Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Beirut, and Amsterdam were involved in this; no allegations were made of his other digs in Tokyo and New York. 

A month later, Ghosn was re-arrested on suspicion of shifting personal loses of $16.6 million onto Nissan. Then new allegations arose, including a Renault audit uncovering €11 million in questionable expenses. 

On the Lam. On December 30, 2019, Ghosn jumped bail in a high-tech caper formulated by a father-and-son team, ex-Green Beret Michael and Peter Taylor. The Financial Times, June 29, 2021, gives details of their involvement, trial, and subsequent public atonement. 

BBC News offers Ghosn’s point of view in “Ex-Nissan Boss Carlos Ghosn: How I Escaped Japan in a Box,”July 13, 2021. To this day, he has denied any of the Japanese government charges. 

BBC Interview with Carlos Ghosn

Ghosn told BBC, “The 30 minutes waiting in the box on the plane, waiting for it to take off, was probably the longest wait I’ve ever experienced in my life.”

Wikipedia notes, “The large box carrying Ghosn was never x-rayed or checked by customs officials, because it was too big to fit inside the X-ray machine. The plane left Kansai Airport at 23:10, landing at Istanbul Atatürk Airport at 5:26 on the morning of 30 December 2019. Within an hour of the plane’s landing, a separate private jet left for Beirut.”

Wikipedia says, “While Japan and Lebanon are both members of Interpol and have had diplomatic relations since 1954, there is no extradition agreement between the two countries. Interpol has issued a red notice for his arrest.”

Tomorrow in Part 2, we turn to earlier days of Carlos Ghosn’s newsworthiness; this, within the pages of Japan’s Manga comics. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2022 

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