Monaco’s Criminal Court has found an unnamed man guilty of submitting two falsified samples of concrete for the Anse du Portier seafront extension project. The man, who is the manager of ‘SARL La Monégasque’ had been sentenced by default last February when he failed to show up in court. After he opposed the judgement, the case recently came back to court for a second time and the man was found guilty once again. He has been sentenced to a fine of 10,000 euros.
The fake samples of concrete were meant to be taken from one of 18 caissons, enormous floating blocks of concrete that create the supportive infrastructure for the Anse du Portier district, and have since been filled with sand to create the foundation of the district. Each caisson is 27 metres high, 33 metres long, weighs 10,000 tons and required 3,800 m3 of concrete. The caisson belt protects the inner area of the district from being damaged by the sea.
Falsifying construction samples is a serious offence and could lead to harmful and potentially life-threatening consequences to the public. However, according to a civil engineering professional, the risks in this particular case are non-existent.
The Bouygues Constructions group, responsible for projects like the Yves Saint Laurent museum in Marakesh, the metro lines of Paris and Melbourne and extension works at Port de Calais, routinely test their cement to make sure it will maintain its strength over time and withstand the repeated stress.
The two falsified samples were in the care of the convicted manager and were sent to Sigma Béton for testing, a laboratory created in 1972 to test and inspect cements and concrete. During the court proceedings, the manager of SARL La Monégasque admitted to handing in the false samples. He said that one of the test tubes had been lost and rather than suffer financial losses and avoid disappointment, he handed in falsified samples.