Friday 3 January 2020 1:00 pm

Carlos Ghosn escape: Turkish jet firm says ex-Nissan boss used planes illegally

A Turkish private jet firm said today that ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn used two of its planes illegally to escape Japan, where he was awaiting trial for financial misconduct.

MNG Jet said it had filed a criminal complaint over the incident, a day after Turkish police detained seven people, including four pilots, as part of an investigation into Ghosn’s passage through Istanbul en route to Lebanon.

Read more: Seven arrested by Turkish authorities for Carlos Ghosn escape

The firm said an employee had falsified lease documents to exclude Ghosn’s name.

In a statement, the company said that an employee had admitted to falsifying the records and confirmed he “acted in his individual capacity.”

MNG Jet added that it leased two jets to two different clients in agreements that “were seemingly not connected to each other.” One plane flew from Osaka to Istanbul, the other from Istanbul to Beirut.

Yesterday Japanese public broadcaster NHK revealed that Ghosn escaped Japan by using a spare French passport that he had not handed over to authorities.

The 65-year-old was on strict bail conditions when he escaped, including giving all of his passports to the authorities.

Interpol has issued a warrant for Ghosn’s arrest. The ex-Nissan boss, who has claimed that he was facing “injustice and persecution” by Japanese authorities, will speak publicly about his escape on 8 January.

Read more: Carlos Ghosn met Lebanon’s president after fleeing Japan

Allegations against the former Nissan boss include that he transferred personal losses to the company’s accounts and of paying £11.1m of company funds to a Saudi Arabian businessman in a deal not sanctioned by the company.

Initial reports in the Lebanese media that Ghosn had escaped by hiding in a musical instrument case and by being escorted by a group of soldiers dressed up as a band were dismissed by his wife.

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