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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

Updated 39 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.