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Convicted for spending €1,700 with a stolen card in Monaco

bank-cards
The defendant was charged with "credit card fraud or theft" - © Pixabay

It was the Louis Vuitton shop that alerted the Police Department after a suspicious attempted purchase. 

Ubaldi, Fnac, Nocibé, Zara… The accused didn’t have just one store in mind when he decided to spend money that wasn’t his, instead he spread it around all the shops in the Principality, starting with the luxury Louis Vuitton boutique in the Carré d’Or. Ironically, it was after trying to buy a card holder that the trickster gave himself away. The contactless payment of 300 euros did not go through, and he was unable to enter the code, much to the surprise of the staff. They decided to report the man, who was not a regular customer, to the Police Department.

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With the help of video surveillance, the officers found the man from Nice at Monaco station, carrying a number of bags from different shops in the Principality. The 21-year-old night watchman had had no previous dealings with the French or Monegasque police. He used the card he allegedly found on a trip to Dubai to buy himself five pairs of AirPods, perfumes and clothes.

Who is the victim?

“When I came across the card, I searched long and hard for its owner, especially on social media, but to no avail,” the accused told the magistrates’ court on Tuesday 16 April. The prosecutor immediately dismissed the young man’s claims, identifying the victim, apparently of Pakistani origin, on the internet in a matter of minutes. “What gave you the idea of using a card that doesn’t belong to you?” asked chief magistrate Florestan Bellinzona. “I’d been struggling to pay my rent for a couple of months,” said the young man, who planned to sell his purchases at a second-hand shop.

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Although the events took place on 15 February, the card had been in his possession for over a month. “I should have thrown it away. I realise my mistake,” he addded. Something bothered one of the assessors: “How do you explain, sir, that the card has not been cancelled?”  The defendant claimed to be unaware of the reason. What he was aware of, however, was that he was using a Visa Platinum card, an international credit card with high spending limits.

Three-month suspended prison sentence

The prosecutor delivered his summing-up: “When you find a bank card, the first thing to do is to hand it over to the police. At the very least, you destroy it or contact the owner. I’m shocked that he is claiming financial difficulties. There are other ways of making money. I don’t believe him when he says he can’t find work. Stealing is the easy option, because any restaurant will hire you, if only as a dishwasher!” Julien Pronier suggested a three-month suspended prison sentence to the court, but warned the Frenchman: “the next time you break the law in Monaco, you’ll go straight to prison.”

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The court followed the prosecution’s suggestion and added a fine of €1,500.