Law & Order

Magic, Drugs and Alcohol Test Monaco’s Courts once again

Smash Bang! Accelerating Through a Barrier in Larvotto 

BANG/SMASH! At 5.30 in the morning, just one euro and fifty cents would have got him out of the parking garage at Larvotto after a raucous tour of the best night clubs in Monaco. This young entrepreneur in his thirties from Avignon might just have made it back to his hotel in Beausoleil without incident. But no, in his alcoholic state he decided to tempt fate. Down the hatch with 6 vodkas and treating the barrier of the parking lot as if it were the finish line of the Grand Prix and here he is in handcuffs before the judge. That is correct – he didn’t pay the 1.50 euros and rammed through the barrier instead. The policemen were reeling from the smell of alcohol on his breath. What was he thinking! Or maybe the vodka was thinking for him. It cost him dear. 2000 euros of fines and damages of close to 250 euros. 

The remaining question before the judge – prison? The young man had a file of prior offenses as thick as a telephone book, theft, anti-social behaviour, falsifying checks, fraud, abuse of alcohol; the list goes on. It all added up to the Monaco court giving him a suspended prison sentence of two months.

Abracadabra! Look This Way While I Empty Your Wallet

A Romanian expert at sleight of hand can empty your wallet like magic. And he did to three elderly people on separate occasions in broad daylight in Monaco. And he had tried his luck with varying degrees of success before in Germany, Italy and Belgium.


This cunning criminal has a win, no-lose strategy. His modus operandi is to visit the casino, gamble to win and then if he loses, recoup his losses by robbery. Except Monaco has excellent video-surveillance. And robbing the elderly in Monaco will get you in court. And the court does not take kindly to hearing that the “trick” to divert attention is to ask for two euros for something to eat.

Abusing the good-will of kind people to then empty their wallets to the tune of 1000 euros will get you sent swiftly to jail. Say no more: three months in prison.

Prowling Around Larvotto Dealing Drugs

Dealing or using? That is the question that will make or break this case. And with drugs it makes the difference between jail-time or fines and probation. The 17 year old Frenchman before the judge knew he was up against it. He tried to convince the court he was an addict and the 18 grams the police found on him were for personal use.


The judge was completely unconvinced – as had been the police who picked him up. No money, little education, no parental support, supposedly on holiday on the Côte d’Azur from Lorraine, it didn’t add up. More likely the accused was wandering around Larvotto prowling for customers. Two facts sunk him. On his phone were Ads on social media offering cannabis at 5 € per gram and 10 euros for two grams. And the pouches found on him seemed have the drug ready to be “cut” for sale.

Past offenses painted a picture of theft, violence and drugs – a sad pattern; indifferent parents, a wasted life building to permanent criminal activity. The defence pleaded for probation to try to get the young man back integrated into society; the prosecution took a tough stance arguing for 4 months in jail. The youth from Lorraine was somewhat lucky – prison yes, but a relatively light sentence of 15 days.

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