Life on the run is proving expensive for Carlos Ghosn.
The cost of his escape included $14 million in forfeited bail money while the operation that saw him celebrate New Year’s Eve in Beirut could have cost $15 million or more.
That includes $350,000 for the private jet that spirited the former auto executive from Osaka to Istanbul and millions of dollars for his multicountry extraction that would have taken a team of as many as 25 people half a year to plan, according to a private security expert who said he wasn’t involved and asked not to be identified given the nature of the operation.
Such outflows have seen Ghosn’s fortune shrink by 40% since he was arrested more than a year ago at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, according to estimates by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His fortune is now calculated to be about $70 million, down from around $120 million at the time of his first court appearance a year ago.
In fiery, freewheeling form at a two-and-a-half hour press conference in Beirut on Wednesday, Ghosn, 65, repeatedly proclaimed his innocence against allegations he understated his income and raided corporate resources for personal gain, accused Japanese prosecutors, government officials and Nissan Motor Co. executives of conspiring to topple him, and insisted he would clear his name.