Two recent and unusual crimes highlight unfortunate and thankfully rare incidents of criminality in Monaco.
A director of a clinic steals a mobile phone at the Grimaldi Forum
Theft, indeed, affects all levels of society. This time, it was a clinic manager who stole, on 1st April, the mobile phone of an overly confident exhibitor during a conference organized at the Grimaldi Forum. Of course, the day of the theft was somewhat of a farce, but the criminal court was not laughing, nor was the event found to be entertaining.
The Romanian administrator, who was absent at the hearing, was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment with a suspended sentence, but the court did not appreciate the plot or perceived the slightest burlesque distinction. Back to the event, which had attracted a crowd of specialists from around the world during the Easter season, a professional was at his stand and poised at the counter to provide any necessary information to the delegates.
A Romanian gentleman approaches, speaks with him and seems intrigued by the product being promoted, to the point of exchanging their details for future contact. At the moment they separate, the representative of the firm turns to put the business card in his briefcase, while leaving his mobile visible on the counter.
This was his fatal error. “In the space of a few seconds,” says President Jérôme Fougeras Lavergnolle, “the €700 Samsung had disappeared and the victim alerted the Grimaldi Forum officials. As the conferences are filmed at all times, the security services quickly unmasked the man responsible for the theft by viewing the footage. Interviewed afterwards, the clinic manager acknowledged the facts and the phone was found in the trunk of his vehicle and finally returned to its owner.”
The Senior Counsel Olivier Zamphiroff will not expand on this theft, which damages the reassuring image of the Principality. One to two months’ imprisonment with suspended sentence will be required. The court would condemn the accused to one month with suspension.
Drugs brought to the prison
The criminal court has just examined the case of a 22-year-old man involved in a narcotics case. Condemned at the time to fifteen days in prison for an “eat and run” and possession of stolen goods, this young unemployed man from the Dignois area presented himself to the prison on 12th May to serve his sentence.
The rather unremarkable story quickly turned absurd when President Jérôme Fougeras Lavergnolle reported the following facts. “The day when the individual presented himself for incarceration, he was already late. More seriously, when he was searched, 0.30 g of cannabis resin was found in his pockets.”
In defending himself, the young man admitted to being a regular consumer of marijuana and smoking between twenty and thirty joints per day.
After becoming aware of this absurd situation, the unusual young man finally admitted that he had not remembered having drugs on him. From the magistrate’s viewpoint, “this man is not only a consumer. He is above all a serious offender with fourteen convictions registered on his French criminal record for theft, violence, drugs, contempt.”
Certainly, this re-offender would have done well to empty his pockets before being searched. The Senior Counsel Olivier Zamphiroff recommended that the court considered “in light of the attitude of the person concerned, that is to say the possession of an illegal product. In view of previous convictions and the daily use of narcotics, you will pass a sentence of 30 days in prison.” Eagerly adding, with a slightly bitter tone: “And not 0.30 days …”
The court will reduce the requisitions of the public prosecutor by sending the young man from Dignois to prison for a further 15 days.
In short, though both incidents may be intriguing stories in their own right, fortunately these two particular crimes represent events which do not occur regularly in Monaco.