Law & Order

Drunkenness, Telephone Fraud and Injury Fill the Dockets of the Courts

Learn the most interesting stories from the court room.

Telephone Scams Deprive Elderly Grandmothers in Monaco of Valuables

Telephone scams targeting elderly women in Monaco have been successfully intercepted by the police – but not without victims as this court-case reveals. It involved the arrest of a thief who couriered the money and jewellery stolen from Monegasques to Eastern Europe. The scam involved identifying vulnerable elderly women (typically in their eighties) from names in the telephone directory, phoning them impersonating relatives in serious financial difficulty – and then having a “courier” on the spot in Monaco to collect the money and jewellery extracted via the scam. A police operation led to the identification and arrest of the courier (an unemployed local immigrant) who faced the judge in Court in Monaco. 

Three victims, related their sad experiences, their heart-strings plucked over the telephone by what they thought were relatives in distress. Each one was duped and handed over money or jewellery or both. 

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Photo by Chepté Cormani

The Court listed losses of 30.000 euros, 400.000 euros and 15.000 euros. This could be the tip of the iceberg because investigators had noted in a single day in July 2020, ninety people in the Principality had been reached by telephone with a prepaid card on a suspected foreign number. 

The courier was sentenced by the Court to two years in prison with a part suspended and reduced by time already spent in custody. 

There remain the ruthless organizers of the scams hidden in Eastern Europe targeting the vulnerable in the Principality. But the police are vigilant and more and more potential victims are now aware and forewarned. 

Exiting a Parked Vehicle Drunk for a Tour Around the Casino 

The defense for driving under the influence was plausible. A visitor had stopped his luxury vehicle by the Casino, exited with the engine still running carrying with him champagne glasses full of limoncello which he proceeded to continue drinking. He had carried them from a restaurant he had just visited. The car blocked the lane but he said he had expected a valet to park it. Subsequently tested for alcohol by the police he was well over the limit and judged drunk in charge of his vehicle. Even if your car is stopped, if you drink in it and are over the limit you will be charged by the police for drunken driving.

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The Court noted on sentencing that the man had a prior conviction for causing injury while driving under the influence. 

The prosecution called for a month’s suspended prison sentence. The Court decided on 15 days and a fine of 5.000 euros. 

Disaster at work losing a thumb to a circular saw 

An accident on a work-site in the Principality led to the loss of a thumb by an operator of a circular saw with a serrated blade. The owner of the enterprise that was responsible for bringing the worker on site was brought to account before the court. It was established that no safety training had been provided … neither with respect to safety procedures on the worksite nor in particular in the operation of the machine. Just wearing a hard-hat was obviously not a sufficient safety procedure. The accident had led to over two months off-work due to impairment. The only legal issue in the case was the division of responsibility between the owner/manager of the enterprise and the enterprise itself as a corporate entity. 

The Court decided on a 16.000 euro fine for failed professional responsibility for the work-place injury split between the owner/manager and the corporation.

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