Law & Order

Money Launderers and Swindlers Caught in Monaco’s Vigilant Net

Concealing Large Amounts of Cash on your Person is Against the Law 

Monaco has a watchful eye out for money laundering. One of the legal tools that helps is the obligation to declare cash in your possession, if it exceeds 10,000 euros. And the police during a control happened on a young man with almost 20,000 euros on him. Given that it turned out he earned a modest salary – how could this be? His story: withdrawal of his savings and winnings from a flutter. 

But the Court had his file of prior convictions, one of which included running large amounts of tobacco across customs for resale. So that pointed to one possible source of the cash. In any event, he had broken the law by not declaring the cash in his possession. The question was the amount he would be fined. The prosecution mulled over full confiscation or confiscation of half of the cash. In the end the Court imposed a fine of 3,000 euros. 

A Rigged Auction for Hundreds of Thousands of Euros 

An elderly lady in Monaco had been allegedly cheated in an auction in France where she had been the winning buyer of a sculpture in the hundreds of thousands of euros – estimated later as auctioned at about five times its value. Most strangely she had transferred the exact winning purchase price two days prior to the auction! Before the Court were an art dealer and his accomplice who between them owned the sculpture being auctioned. The auctioneer was deemed also to be part of the conspiracy to defraud the elderly lady. How could it be that the auctioneer’s hammer landed on the exact amount that the lady had transferred days prior to the auction? And the money was traced to two offshore accounts linked to the culprits. The Court ruled in favour of the prosecution despite the denials of the defendants. They were sentenced to 18 months in prison each, one of whom had his sentence suspended. The auctioneer who was complicit also received a severe prison sentence. 

Serial Petty Theft is a Fast Track to Jail

A young man from the eastern border of France with Germany was already found delinquent by the Principality’s police stealing alcohol from an outlet in Port Hercule. Notwithstanding the trouble he was in the young man, only a week later, started robbing two wheeled vehicles, caught on camera rifling through their « saddle bags », one after another. Pickings were so slim only one of the owners bothered to complain. Armed with the camera evidence the police pounced when the young man alighted one day at Monaco station en route to Ventimiglia. It was a strategic mistake for the villain who was hauled off to court. Faced with his prior delinquency and now new criminal action targeting Monaco, the Court decided enough was enough. And his file of prior convictions was thick. For the petty theft from vehicles he was sentenced to three months in a detention centre. Then added to that was one month in prison for the theft of alcohol. It doesn’t pay to travel to Monaco to thieve. The camera detection system is robust and the police vigilant. 

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