Carlos Ghosn’s arrival in Lebanon is the latest little obsession of the country; although we have a multitude of other things more pivotal to address than the arrival of yet another Lebanese billionaire who wants to come home to hide.
And in true Lebanese fashion, the claims surrounding his arrival run from rumors to “facts” to allegations and reports of the bizarre manner through which he arrived in Lebanon.
They have been nothing short of a brilliant script for a Hollywood Movie (I think Kumail Nanjiani should play the part. Look him up. I KNOW).
He was smuggled out in a Double Base Case:
One of the most brilliant rumors to circulate was the one that Ghosn was actually smuggled out of Japan in a Double Base Case on his private jet.
MTV Lebanon reported that a ‘paramilitary group’ had posed as musicians hired to perform at Ghosn’s home during a dinner party; a home believed to be a £2.7million penthouse apartment, by the way.
Some Lebanese media have floated a Houdini-like account of Ghosn being packed in a wooden container for musical instruments after a private concert in his home. His wife called the account pure fiction.
The full details are not known, but there was speculation that Ghosn, who is about 1.58 m tall (5ft 6in), squeezed himself into a 1.53m (6ft) long double bass case at the end of the performance.
The Japanese authorities prevented him from using the internet or to contact his wife:
Ghosn was prevented from communicating with his wife Carole for over 7 months and had his use of the internet and other communications curtailed during this time.
According to The Daily Mail, his wife Carole describes having him back in Lebanon as the ‘greatest gift’, claiming that the couple has struggled to communicate properly for months.
After a hearing on Christmas Day where judges appeared to be seeking a delay, Ghosn also feared his trial would not start until 2021 – meaning more time away from his wife.
So, according to the rumors as well, Ghosn decided to scheme an intricate strategy of escape in order to be with his wife. Love can make you do insane things, we know that. Don’t we?
Ghosn met with President Aoun when he arrived in Lebanon:
It was reported by several media outlets, both nationally and internationally, that Ghosn met with President Aoun in Lebanon after his escape, but an official source has denied these claims as well.
Many believe Ghosn to be a Lebanese hero, and a campaign in his support has even spread across Lebanon since the early days of his arrest.
One thing seems to emerge worth noting: Ghosn did learn an important skill from the Japanese and learn it so well that he even became better than them at it: The Ninja skill.
Lebanon’s Ambassador to Japan visited Ghosn in detention:
Multiple media outlets have reported that the Lebanese ambassador to Japan had visited Ghosn daily while he was in detention.
No connections between these visits and the manner through which Ghosn entered Lebanon have been reported.
There are rumors in Japan, though, that he was aided by some Japanese government officials.
His passports were locked away at the time of his travel:
Public broadcaster NHK reported that Japanese authorities allowed Ghosn to carry a spare French passport in a locked case while out on bail.
The businessman, who holds French, Lebanese, and Brazilian citizenship, reportedly entered Lebanon on his French passport and with his Lebanese ID.
His Japanese lawyer Junichiro Hironaka said he was “baffled” by the news and confirmed that lawyers were still in possession of Ghosn’s passports.
Does Ghosn have a 4th nationality he never revealed? Another rumored speculation…
Ghosn is reportedly living his best life in Lebanon:
Ghosn is reportedly leading quite the peaceful lifestyle in his home in Beirut with his wife, amid Lebanese security forces keeping him “safe” and seen exiting and entering the property.
It is a big change from his $5b penthouse in Tokyo but definitely much better than his prison cell in Japan. Freedom is another form of luxury.
With Lebanon currently having no extradition treaty with Japan, I’m not quite sure about Ghosn’s legal standing in the country, or about whether or not seeking a Lebanese trial is even a possibility.
In the meantime, let’s figure out some more pressing matters. Has anyone been able to make their car payments in USD this month?