Just in: Nissan boss ‘fled Japan in a musical instrument case’

Just in: Nissan boss ‘fled Japan in a musical instrument case’


norman lebrecht

December 31, 2019

The Editor of the Financial Times has inside track on how Carlos Ghosn jumped bail in Japan:

He’s not the first to do so.

The Soviet spy George Blake escaped Britain in 1966 inside a bass case.

Dashed useful, these basses.

He must have flown by private jet, since no airline would board a doublebass these days.

And what did they do with the doublebass itself – leave it on the tarmac?

More from the Mail:

Lebanese news channel MTV reported that a ‘paramilitary group’ had posed as musicians hired to perform at Ghosn’s home to smuggle him out under the noses of the Japanese authorities.

He was then flown to Beirut via Turkey.

MTV reported: ‘The band entered his home in Japan under the guise of a band for a Gregorian dinner, then returned and exited after the party’s logical time had passed.

Gregorian, as in chant?

More likely Georgian, as in Stalin.


  • CYM says:

    Did he bring his partner along, if it was a double-bass ?!

  • Alexandra says:

    This is a welcome amusement after a depressing flood of obits these past couple of weeks. What is it about December, anyway?

    • Tom Moore says:

      psychologically people who are dying stick it out until after a significant date – a birthday, or in this case, Christmas

  • John Marks says:

    “Flight is evidence of guilt.”

    Circumstantial evidence, but nonetheless usually admissible. The jury (or the trier of fact) is then free to draw the conclusion or not.

    Perhaps the Japanese will find it worthwhile to try him in absentia.


    • Saxon Broken says:

      Japan convicts 99 percent of defendants anyway. I don’t think they worry too much about anything like evidence (circumstantial or not).

  • clarrieu says:

    Rumor has it that he asked the orchestra to play his favorite tunes, “After You’ve Ghosn” and “My Man’s Ghosn Now”.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    What was he playing at?

  • sam says:

    I heard he escaped in a tuba case.

    “Ghosn With The Wind”

  • fflambeau says:

    I suspect that more important than a musical instrument case was money, lots and lots of it given to bribe people.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Tom comes out all string bass-shaped.

  • Dragonetti says:

    How did he stay awake in there? Nissan dorma I suppose..

  • Malcolm Kottler says:

    The New York Times has this to say about a case for a bass:

    “An official in Beirut said Mr. Ghosn had entered the country using a French passport, while at least one Lebanese outlet reported, without offering proof, that the former Nissan chairman had been spirited out inside a box meant for musical equipment.”


  • Malcolm Kottler says:

    To go with the New York Times, here is what the Washington Post says about a bass case:

    “The most colorful theory was offered by the Lebanese MTV news channel, which reported that Ghosn had been smuggled out of his residence in a storage container designed for musical instruments, after a band played at his residence, and taken to Osaka’s Kansai airport, where he left on a private jet. But the report was unsubstantiated.”