Details of the cheeky draw, including the use of two “big black boxes”, are presented with a cinematic sweep in a complaint that was sealed Wednesday after the Taylors’ arrest. The status of the third man accused of helping the escape, George-Antoine Zayek, is unclear.
Peter Taylor had met with Ghosn, who was in severe bail while facing financial crimes in Japan, at least seven times in the months leading up to the escape, according to documents.
In late December, Peter Taylor flew to Tokyo and met Ghosn at the Grand Hyatt hotel. Meanwhile, Michael Taylor and Zayek flew to Osaka on a private jet from Dubai. The couple carried “two large black boxes” with them.
“The black boxes appeared to be for audio equipment and Michael Taylor and Zayek told Kansai airport workers that they were musicians,” says the complaint.
Later, on the afternoon of December 29, the four men met at the Tokyo hotel. From there, Peter Taylor went to Narita airport and boarded a flight to China. The other three, including Ghosn, took a train to Osaka, where they gathered in a hotel.
At 20:14, Ghosn, Michael Taylor and Zayek arrived at the hotel and entered Hall 4609. At 21:57, Taylor and Zayez emerged from the room with their luggage, including the two large boxes, and headed for the airport.
“There is no image of Ghosn leaving room 4609. Instead, Ghosn was hiding in one of the two large black boxes carried by Michael Taylor and Zayek,” says the complaint.
The baggage went through a security check at the airport without being checked and was loaded onto a private jet leaving for Turkey. Two days later, on December 31st, Ghosn publicly announced that he had fled to his home country in Lebanon.
According to a detention note, law enforcement officers moved to arrest the Taylors after discovering that Peter Taylor had booked a plane ticket to Lebanon, which was scheduled to arrive on May 20.
Court documents revealing the arrests were first highlighted on Twitter by Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the extremism program at George Washington University
Michael Taylor has already participated in bold draws. The New York Times hired Taylor after their reporter David Rohde was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2008, the newspaper said. In 1999, Taylor was hired by a North Carolina family to return his daughter who had been stranded in Syria with her three children after escaping from a violent husband, according to court documents.
A security company that Taylor ran out of in Boston, American International Security Corporation, said it had conducted “vulnerability assessments” for dozens of major international airports, according to an archived version of its website.
This story has been updated with more information about the Taylors.
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