A Ukrainian, staying in a hotel in Beausoleil, has avoided the confiscation of 9,800 euros in cash and the equivalent of 4,000 euros in gambling jetons.
Appearing before Monaco’s Criminal Court, the 35 year-old argued that the sum he was carrying was connected to an inheritance and the sale of vehicles in Georgia, local French-language daily Monaco Matin reported.
Prosecuting counsel said that there was no evidence to confirm either of these stories and argued for a suspended jail sentence and the confiscation of the cash.
Having considered all the evidence the court decided that casino jetons do not constitute cash for the purposes of the law, which meant that the defendant was carrying less than 10,000 euros when stopped by Monaco’s vigilant police officers on February 16 this year, and therefore did not have to declare the sum on entering the Principality.
“Over there it’s war. Believe me, one tries to make money as one can,” the man told the court.
However, the prosecution did not seem to be impressed with the argument that Ukraine’s war with Russia would pose a threat to everyday bureaucracy, implying that there must surely be a paper trail and TVA receipts to prove his innocence.
But, the fact that the gambler had no previous record seemed to weigh in his favour, as well as the fact that according to the law jetons are not cash.
The lucky Ukrainian was told the cash would be returned to him, unless there was an appeal by the prosecution service.