A British businessman who was being evicted from his apartment after losing his job has been fined 18,000 euros for the illegal possession of firearms.

Monaco Criminal Court heard that a bailiff was accompanied by police when the eviction took place in December 2020. Seventeen rifles and pistols were hung on the wall, some with loaded ammunition. A number of the weapons were registered, but two had undergone modifications that required new registrations.

The 50 year-old defendant, who had returned from New York for the hearing, faced a suspended prison sentence and a fine of 5,000 euros. His defence counsel argued that it can happen in the life of any businessman that he falls on hard times and there had been no criminal intention on his part.

The defendant argued that it was impossible to indulge his love of target shooting if he did not own guns, and by having them at home he had done nothing wrong. He said he had bought several of the guns from a dealer in Monaco, but he was not able to furnish the correct paperwork.

The court decided to spare him a prison sentence but fined him 18,000 euros.