Turkish jet company says rogue employee to blame for Ghosn involvement

A Turkish private jet company says its involvement in Carlos Ghosn's escape from Japan to Lebanon was limited to a rogue employee. File photo by Molly Riley/UPI

Jan. 4 (UPI) — A Turkish private jet company suspected of involvement in fugitive financier Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan to Lebanon has blamed a rogue employee of acting without authorization.

MNG Jet announced Friday it had filed a criminal complaint against the unnamed employee, who was one of seven people detained by Turkish authorities Thursday in their unfolding probe of how the former CEO of Nissan managed to skip bail in Japan and later emerge in Lebanon.

Turkish media reported Istanbul prosecutors are looking into allegations that Ghosn, who was facing charges of financial mismanagement in Japan, escaped to Lebanon via Istanbul Airport.

Among those reportedly being questioned were four pilots, two employees of a private ground service company and one operations director for a courier company.

MNG Jet General Manager Can Sasmaz said in a statement his company is cooperating fully with the investigation.

“One employee of the company, who is under investigation by the authorities, has admitted having falsified the records,” he said. “He confirmed that he acted in his individual capacity, without the knowledge or the authorization of the management of MNG Jet.”

The company, Sasmaz added, “filed a criminal complaint” on Jan. 1 against “those who were involved.”

It has so far been unclear how 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 announced Tuesday 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 cell. 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.


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