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Carlos Ghosn was under house arrest in Japan before fleeing to Lebanon last weekend. Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images

When Carlos Ghosn simultaneously ran Nissan and Renault, he skipped freely across the globe, racking up 150,000 flying miles a year. But he probably never made a trip like the one he took the night before New Year's Eve.

Catch up fast: The former CEO of Nissan and Renault somehow eluded 24-hour surveillance in Japan, where he is facing trial on financial misconduct charges, and turned up in Lebanon, saying he had escaped the "rigged Japanese justice system."

  • "I have not fled justice. I have escaped injustice and political persecution," Ghosn said in a statement.

Everything about this story is incredible, but perhaps no detail more intriguing than his alleged getaway vehicle: a large musical instrument case.

  • Citing TV news reports in Lebanon, the New York Post reported that a group of mercenaries posing as musicians entered Ghosn's Tokyo home, purportedly for a holiday concert, and later departed with the five-foot-six-inch Ghosn hiding inside a box, perhaps a six-foot-tall double-base case.
  • Worthy of a movie scene, those reports haven't been corroborated by Axios or other media, and the circumstances of his arrival in Lebanon remain shrouded in mystery.
  • Investigations are underway in Japan and Turkey, where the private plane he took from Tokyo stopped before he arrived in Beirut.
  • Seven airport staff and pilots were being questioned in Istanbul, per the FT, and Interpol issued a red notice — a Wanted poster, essentially — seeking Ghosn's arrest in Lebanon.

Ghosn's escape followed months of planning by associates, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

  • But Ghosn, countering rumors, insisted his wife, Carole, was not involved.
  • "I alone organized my departure," the 65-year-old said. "My family had no role whatsoever."

What to watch: Ghosn, who maintains his innocence, is planning a news conference for Wednesday. He's unlikely to reveal details behind his escape, but he will most certainly unleash pent-up anger against Japanese prosecutors and his corporate rivals at Nissan and Renault. Talk about must-see TV.

Go deeper... Former Nissan head Carlos Ghosn: I fled Japan to Lebanon to escape injustice

Go deeper

Biden taps Brian Deese to lead National Economic Council

Brian Deese (L) in 2015 with special envoy for climate change Todd Stern (C) and Secretary of State John Kerry (R). Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that he has selected Brian Deese, a former Obama climate aide and head of sustainable investing at BlackRock, to serve as director of the National Economic Council.

Why it matters: The influential position does not require Senate confirmation, but Deese's time working for BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager and an investor in fossil fuels, has made him a target of criticism from progressives.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
31 mins ago - Economy & Business

The places regulation does not reach

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Financial regulation is not exactly simple anywhere in the world. But one country stands out for the sheer amount of complexity and confusion in its regulatory regime — the U.S.

Why it matters: Important companies fall through the cracks, largely unregulated, while others contend with a vast array of regulatory bodies, none of which are remotely predictable.

1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Boeing gets huge 737 Max order from Ryanair, boosting hope for quick rebound

Ryanair low cost airline Boeing 737-800 aircraft as seen over the runway. Photo by Nik Oiko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Dublin-based Ryanair said it would add 75 more planes to an existing order for Boeing's 737 Max airplanes, a giant vote of confidence as Boeing seeks to revive sales of its best-selling plane after a 20-month safety ban following two fatal crashes.

The big picture: Ryanair's big order, on the heels of breakthrough vaccine news, is also a promising sign that the devastated airline industry might recover from the global pandemic sooner than expected.