When Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn escaped Japan in December, he had help, reportedly in the form of an ex-Green Beret, among others, in addition to an audio equipment case. Now, two of Ghosn’s accused accomplices have been arrested by American law enforcement.
That’s according to Seamus Hughes, a researcher at George Washington University who has a track record of uncovering federal court documents.
Here are those documents in full:
The arrests follow warrants issued by Japan in January for Michael and Peter Taylor, in addition to a third man, George Antoine Zayek, and Ghosn himself. Those warrants and the new court documents outlined a scheme that at this point is pretty well-documented.
Michael Taylor, 59, is a former Green Beret who has in recent years worked as a security consultant. Peter Taylor, 26, is his son.
The scheme to extract Ghosn had been in the making for some time, the New York Times reported in January. Taylor also has a connection to the newspaper.
When he was a security consultant, The New York Times hired Michael Taylor to assist in the rescue of David Rohde, then a Times reporter, who was kidnapped by militants in Afghanistan and held for seven months in Pakistan’s tribal areas. In 2012, Mr. Taylor was indicted for his role in a plan to obstruct a federal fraud investigation into bid rigging of Defense Department contracts and served time in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud.
The planning behind Mr. Ghosn’s flight from Japan began last summer, according to someone familiar with the details of the escape. For months, the person said, Michael Taylor worked with a team of more than a dozen operatives from around the world to scope out airports and seaports in Japan, looking for security flaws that would allow Mr. Ghosn to slip out of the country by plane or boat. The team considered a number of options, including putting Mr. Ghosn on a ship to Thailand. The preparation cost more than $1 million, the person said.
According to Hughes, the Taylors will appear before a judge this afternoon.