Monaco Telecom was defrauded: 2,329,882 minutes of communications. Another Monaco criminal news report by Olga Taran, HelloMonaco.com’s editor in chief.
Two Italians, a Turinese and his accomplice were found to have joined forces to convert a handset into a jackpot, by subscribing to Monaco Telecom! Over three months, the bill would be close to 1 million euros for the telecommunications company! At the end of several years of investigation, the two suspected crooks appeared before the criminal court. The case began after a complaint to the Public Security in September 2011. According to the prosecution, one of the defendants subscribed to the name of his company ‘Publiweb’ twenty-two lines with ‘unlimited pro packages’. As foreseen in the contracts, he received the double of SIM cards. From then on, the two men believed they had found the perfect trick to make maximum profits after detecting a flaw in the system of the Monegasque telephony operator. A “SIMbox” device generated calls to internationally surcharged numbers at all times.
The majority of the countries concerned were Switzerland, Great Britain, Croatia and, more particularly, Latvia, Austria and Estonia, where the payment conditions for calls are particularly advantageous. All that was left to do was collect a portion of the profits generated by the higher calls. In volume, this traffic represented 2,329,882 minutes of communications. Minutes multiplied by 0.435 Euros each and you have the total cost of fraud.
“Why did you subscribe to so many subscriptions?”asked Judge Jérôme Fougeras Lavergnolle. “I employ many employees throughout the world,” replied the Turinese man, who resides in the Principality. “So I took advantage of Monaco Telecom’s offer because it was more advantageous than Orange. This is not illegal.” His accomplice defended himself against all embezzlement. “I was selling cars. I have nothing to do with it. The money that was on my account came from the sale of apartments in Italy. The cheque found in my safe represents the guarantee of an investment …”
But the civil party would have none of it. “It is in fact fraud,” said Vanessa Hauret of the Nice Bar. “The lines were used for the redirection of communications initiated when the signed contract prohibits it. The two guilty parties must repay: 99,940,795 euros plus 15,000 euros fee. ”
The fraudulent pair was again described by the prosecutor Cyrielle Colle, who does not believe in the process evoked. “There is nothing human in this. It is thanks to computer technology that everything works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The culprit has learned the lessons of the disappointments of Monaco Telecom. He has pursued scams in the Czech Republic. As for his comrade, his expenses are excessive and he has a stock of Rolex watches. He should get two years for being the principal author of the acts and fifteen months for his accomplice, with warrants of arrest.”
José-Marie Bertozzi and Christophe Ballerio found the prosecution’s requests far too cumbersome and pleaded the release for their respective clients. “There is no evidence to confirm the responsibility of either party. As for the Monegasque operator’s request, it is inadmissible. This telephone enterprise demands justice to supplement its own failings.” The court put the matter under advisement.
Originally published by Olga Taran at HelloMonaco.com