Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Fugitive ex-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn exploited a lapse in airport security to smuggle himself out of Japan inside a large box used to transport concert equipment, a published report said Monday.
The Wall Street Journal said Ghosn was able to fly out of Japan -- where he was being held under house arrest for alleged financial misconduct -- by exploiting lax security procedures used for private jets at Kansai International Airport in Osaka.
The newspaper said members of Ghosn's escape team, which included a former Green Beret, made over 20 trips to Japan to plan his escape on a private jet. They reportedly chose Kansai Airport to stage the former executive's escape partly because its private aircraft traffic is slower than at Japan's other international airports.
They also sought to take advantage of spotty security procedures for oversized luggage. Because private jets travelers are seen as low-risk, not all such luggage or boxes are individually inspected, the Journal reported.
Japanese national broadcaster NHK, meanwhile, reported Ghosn took a bullet train from train from Shinagawa Station in Tokyo to Osaka on Dec. 29 before flying out of Kansai airport.
It said security camera footage showed the 65-year-old leaving his home in Tokyo alone and two hours later arriving at Shinagawa Station with other men. After riding the bullet train to Osaka, the men took a taxi to Kansai Airport around 7:30 p.m.
Ghosn escaped from Japan while out on bail, which he posted in April while awaiting trial on charges including breach of trust, under-reporting his salary and siphoning payments from the automaker.
He emerged last week in Lebanon, announcing that he had left the Asian nation not as a fugitive from justice but as the victim of a political persecution.
The former executive was arrested in November 2018, but was released in March 2019 after spending 108 days in a Tokyo jail. He was then arrested in April on new charges connected to funneling some $5 million in company funds to a bank account he owned. He posted bail later that month.