Lebanon’s justice minister Albert Serhan said he had received one of Interpol’s so-called Red Notices for Mr Ghosn on Thursday. The notices request that police forces worldwide arrest and detain fugitives so that they can be brought to justice.
However, Lebanon does not have an extradition treaty with Japan so, while the former car industry executive may be brought in for questioning, he is unlikely to be handed over to face financial misconduct charges.
Lebanon has said Mr Ghosn entered the country legally with a French passport and Lebanese identification documents, and there was no reason to take action against him.
The latest development adds further drama to a story that has rocked the global automotive industry and shone a harsh light on the Japanese criminal justice system; a system which achieves a 99.9 per cent conviction rate, frequently through the use of long detentions and confessions secured under duress.
Announcing his escape, Mr Ghosn said he refused to be “held hostage” by a “rigged” process in which “guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied”.
He added: “I have not fled justice – I have escaped injustice and political persecution. I can now finally communicate freely with the media, and look forward to starting next week.”
Mr Ghosn, with the help of a team of ex-special forces officers, managed to evade 24-hour camera surveillance on his Tokyo residence, enforced as part of strict bail conditions.
The fugitive, who has joint Lebanese, French and Brazilian nationality, was smuggled in a case belonging to a Gregorian band who had attended his house ostensibly to play music at a party.
He was then reportedly flown in a private plane to Turkey and then on another flight under a different name to Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport.
Japanese prosecutors on Thursday raided his Tokyo home, more than a year after he was first arrested for allegedly understating his income from Nissan by tens of millions of dollars. Further charges have since been added by Japanese authorities and the US Securities and Exchange Commission has also filed fraud charges.
Tokyo prosecutors and police did not immediately comment on Mr Ghosn’s escape. Government offices in Japan are closed this week for the new year holidays.
Mr Ghosn’s lawyers in Japan said they had no knowledge of the escape and that they were in possession of all of his passports.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK TV, without identifying sources, reported on Thursday that Mr Ghosn had two French passports.
Earlier, Japanese reports said there were no official records in Japan of Mr Ghosn’s departure, but a private jet had left from a regional airport to Turkey.
Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported that Turkish authorities had detained seven people as part of an investigation into how Mr Ghosn fled to Lebanon via Istanbul.
The private DHA news agency reported that those detained are four pilots, a cargo company manager and two airport workers.
The Turkish Hurriyet newspaper said the plane carrying Mr Ghosn landed at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport at 5.30am on 29 December. Mr Ghosn was not registered upon landing and was smuggled on board another plane that left for Lebanon, the paper reported.
Mr Ghosn, who was charged in Japan with under-reporting his future compensation and breach of trust, has repeatedly asserted his innocence, saying authorities trumped up charges to prevent a possible fuller merger between Nissan and alliance partner Renault SA.
The 1.5 billion yen (£10m) bail that Mr Ghosn posted on two separate instances to get out of detention is being revoked.
Additional reporting by AP