Carlos Ghosn’s saga has taken yet another turn. According to documents filed by U.S.prosecutors, the former Nissan Chairman’s son sent around $600,000 in cryptocurrency to former Green Beret, Michael Taylor as payment for aiding in Ghosn’s dramatic escape from Japan at the end of last year.
First arrested in Tokyo in November 2018, Ghosn was facing trial for alleged financial misconduct and under-reporting his remuneration. He had continually denied the allegations and described Japan’s justice system as “rigged.”
Anthony Ghosn is reported to have sent Michael Taylor’s son Peter, 27, staggered payments via Coinbase from January to May this year after the former Nissan boss was smuggled out of Japan in a music case and absconded on a private jet to Lebanon. Taylor and his son Peter were subsequently arrested in May by U.S. authorities for their part in the escape.
The more you look into the background of Ghosn’s Hollywood-style escape, the more it seems like a Frederick Forsyth novel. Michael Taylor, who planned and executed the daring escape plan, could have come right off the pages of Forsyth’s The Fourth Protocol. After his years as a Green Beret, Taylor had specialized in security and risk assessment. He had once run American International Security Corporation, a private military contractor with expertise in “extracting” people out of complex or dangerous situations. Over a two decade career, Taylor had successfully executed nearly two dozens rescue missions like saving a young girl who had been abducted by her Lebanese father in a custody dispute. Taylor was the ideal choice to pluck Ghosn out of Japan.
The cryptocurrency, or digital currency payments from Ghosn’s son, were above and beyond the $862,500 Ghosn himself had wired to a company Peter Taylor managed in October, two months before the December 29, 2019 flight from justice, prosecutors said. Across the pond, Japanese prosecutors are asking the U.S. to extradite the Taylors based on a bilateral treaty to allow them to stand trial in Tokyo.
The special investigation department of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office has obtained arrest warrants for the father and son regarding their alleged involvement in Ghosn’s escape, which could go down as Taylor’s most daring and high profile extraction.
Lawyers for the Taylors have sought their release on bail, but prosecutors insist the two remain a flight risk and need to be detained.
Japan’s government has demanded Ghosn’s extradition through Interpol, but the Lebanese authorities have indicated it is unlikely to hand him over as the two countries do not have an extradition treaty.