Undocumented workers sentenced in Monaco
Six men of Comorian origin worked in various restaurants in the Principality with a work permit which they had obtained using false identity documents.
“My only intention was to work”, explains one of the defendants at the bar. Of the six men tried in this case, only two were present at the hearing before the Monaco Criminal Court on Tuesday November 15, 2022. These foreigners aged around 30 worked, for the most part, between 2021 and 2022 in Monaco in using false identity documents or impersonating others.
The message that it is relatively easy to find work in Monaco was circulating
Florestan Bellinzona, President of the Tribunal
Thanks to their salaries as dishwashers, assistant cooks or room clerks, they sent money to their families back in the Comoros. With the rest, they survived in a Beausoleil apartment ” in almost sordid living conditions » to use the words of the Prosecutor, where they slept in bunk beds. All the defendants had, until then, no mention in their Monegasque and French criminal records.
An unexpected police check
The subterfuge could have lasted a long time if one of them had not found himself facing the police during an unexpected check on the public highway on September 9th. Indeed, the agents quickly realize that the photo of the passport presented did not correspond to the man they had in front of them. The search that will follow at the home he occupied on Boulevard de la Turbie in Beausoleil will bring down the other men in the accommodation.
Today, one no longer works and has taken steps to regularize his situation, and the other does extra work in France. “He has regularized his situation in France and wants to regularize himself in Monaco to continue working”supports his lawyer Me Grégoire Gamerdinger. “The State does not intend to obsess over the fate of these individuals, indicates for his part Me Hervé Campana. He still considers himself a victim because his trust has been betrayed, and this situation retains the security image of the Principality. » For non-pecuniary damage therefore, the civil party claims 1 symbolic euro.
As for the employers, none has filed a civil action. The Public Prosecutor’s Office has also expressed its questions concerning their responsibility.
suspended prison sentence
According to the Prosecutor, “these men are victims of a network and of the place where they were born, and their will to find a better life is evident”. The Public Prosecutor also emphasizes that they did not dispute the facts. Despite all this, the offenses are well established, and the defendants’ explanations of how the documents were issued remain unclear. Since a fine “would not be appropriate”the prosecution requires between 10 days and one month suspended prison sentence and the confiscation of the money found in the apartment during the search, as well as the administrative documents.
After deliberation, the court decides to follow the requisitions of the Prosecutor and the culprits are condemned to 10 days of suspended prison sentence. He also granted the request of the civil party concerning the symbolic euro as well as that of the Defense lawyer not to suffer the conviction of his client’s criminal record, so that it would not be “an obstacle to his future”.