Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn described fleeing Japan in a box as the ‘longest wait I’ve ever experienced in my life’

Carlos Ghosn
Carlos Ghosn. The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images
  • Ghosn spoke to the BBC about his experience fleeing Japan in a box in December 2019.
  • Ghosn, who was accused of fraud, plotted the daring escape from house arrest.
  • “The 30 minutes … was probably the longest wait I’ve ever experienced in my life,” he said.
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Carlos Ghosn has described hiding in a box to escape house arrest in Japan as “the longest wait” he had experienced in his life.

The former Nissan chairman was arrested in Japan in November 2018 on charges of financial mismanagement. He denies the charges, which saw him first jailed and then put under house arrest.

In December 2019, Ghosn – who holds Brazilian, French, and Lebanese passports – escaped to his home country of Lebanon, which does not have an extradition treaty with Japan. Reports at the time said he hid in a box for musical instruments to get on the plane.

He spoke about his bold escape for the first time in an interview with the BBC, which was published Tuesday.

In the interview, Ghosn described how he tried to make himself as unrecognizable as possible in order to make his escape.

He swapped his suits for casual clothes, and left his home in Tokyo ostensibly for a walk – but actually headed to a bullet train to Osaka, he said.

In a hotel in Osaka, a box used for storing musical instruments was waiting for him, ready to be stowed on a private jet‚ with the help of two friends posing as musicians, he said.

“When you get in the box, you don’t think about the past, you don’t think about the future, you just think about the moment,” he told the BBC.

“You’re not afraid, you don’t have any emotion except the huge concentration on ‘this is your chance, you can’t miss it.'”

He also described the agonizing interval between getting into the box and taking off in the plane. “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,” he told the BBC.

The pair who helped him, Michael and Peter Taylor, now face three years in prison for their role in the escape, the BBC reported.