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He takes a private taxi from Paris to Monaco, but doesn’t pay the €2,600 fare

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© Pixabay

And to round off the adventure, he then had dinner at the Buddha-Bar without settling the bill, around €1,200 euros. 

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In the box, the 24-year old man with a strong build is handcuffed and surrounded by several police officers. While he has been behind bars for several days since the in flagrante delicto hearing sentenced him to one month for his “free meal” at the Buddha-Bar, this time the Monaco Criminal Court took a look at the events leading up to the dinner: the journey that brought this Dutchman, with neither employment nor fixed address, to the Principality of Monaco.

On 9 February, he got into a private cab in Paris, and headed for Monaco, knowing full well that he was unable to pay. In his version of the story, he had made the driver aware of this. When questioned after filing a complaint, the driver explained that the man had promised to pay him the money once he arrived at the Fairmont, as his money was in his hotel room, just not on him.

“I told him I didn’t have any money”

Things got heated in front of the luxury establishment: the customer did not have enough money to pay the €2,600 fare, and the staff informed the police. “I warned him from the start that I didn’t have any money, so half of the blame lies with him,” insisted the defendant, assisted by an interpreter. The same story at the hearing: “I told him I had no money, he thought I was joking.”

And when the President asked him why he wanted to go to Monaco, the young man replied: “I just wanted be a tourist and leave the next day by train because I was due for an operation.” Sceptical, the Court continued, “So you take a €2,600 cab ride when you don’t have a centime in your pocket!” However this is not the man in the dock’s first scam, as his criminal record shows.

Three months in prison

“He is a regular,” confirmed the Prosecutor. “This M.O. is a way of life for him, and his story is, in my opinion, ridiculous and unacceptable. I don’t believe him, nobody works for nothing. That is why I am requesting three months’ imprisonment.” A sentence that the defendant’s lawyer tried to reduce in his closing arguments, in vain.

The Court complied with the Public Prosecutor’s request. The man left as he came in, handcuffed, back to the Principality’s prison, where he will stay for a total of four months.