A trader from Marseille was found to have a considerable amount of cash on his person when he was stopped by police officers on Place du Casino on April 20.

The sum exceeded the allowed amount of 10,000 by 5,166 euros, and among the notes was a false 100 bill, Monaco Criminal Court was told.

In explanation, the trader said that he had come to Monaco to buy a gift for his wife, possibly a Rolex watch or a Dior handbag, local French daily Monaco Matin reported.

An investigation unearthed the fact that the devoted husband’s business had ceased trading in October last year and was in debt to the tune of 233,000 euros. His behaviour amounted to fraudulent bankruptcy in his native France, the tribunal president remarked.

The president expressed astonishment that the defendant would drive three hours from Marseille in order to pay for a gift in cash.

The trader said that he often paid out small sums in cash and added that he supplemented his income by driving a truck on a part-time basis.

Despite the diversity of the alleged offences, the miscreant merchant of Marseille was given a four-month suspended jail sentence and allowed to keep the 15,165 euros, minus the counterfeit 100-euro note.