Former Nissan Motor Co Ltd (OTC: NSANY) CEO Carlos Ghosn's flight from Japan, where he was facing fraud charges, to Lebanon was the result of an elaborate, detailed plan involving more than 10 people that took months to work out and exploited a security gap at the Osaka Airport, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
Citing unnamed sources, WSJ said an operative working with Ghosn noticed a potential security hole at Osaka's Kansai International Airport months earlier: private jet terminal security was lax and oversized luggage wasn't put through scanners.
Ghosn reportedly went from his Tokyo home, where he was under monitoring, to Osaka and went through security at the private jet terminal in an oversized box used for concert equipment. He was flown to Turkey, changed planes, and went on to his home country of Lebanon. The plan cost millions of dollars, the publication said.
A team of 10-15 operatives working on the mission visited at least 10 airports to study their security, looking for a weakness, WSJ said. Among the people on the plane with Ghosn was American Michael Taylor, a former Green Beret with experience rescuing hostages, the publication said.
An Osaka airport spokesman told the Journal that oversize luggage can be inspected by security, but private jet travelers are a low terrorism risk, and so it is sometimes not inspected. In Japan, airlines use private companies for security.
Ghosn was arrested in 2018 in Japan, accused of financial crimes allegedly committed while he was running Nissan. He has denied all charges, but said Japan's system won't afford him a fair trial.
Photo by Ecole polytechnique via Wikimedia.