Monaco Mobsters

While violent crime remains a serious problem along the Coast Monaco can fairly claim to be “a peaceable kingdom”. Most of the time. Early one morning this summer – around four o’clock – one Italian customer jostled another in the Karrement nightclub in the Grimaldi Forum. The outcome was like a scene from The Sopranos. The jostlee picked up a vodka bottle and smashed it in the face of the jostler. When a waiter intervened the jostlee’s companion, another Italian, knocked him down and kicked him in the face. The jostler needed 29 stitches and was left paralysed down one side of his face. The perps (identified to the police by the waiter) got jail terms, though quite short. One Monaco-based Brit we spoke to shrugged: “I’ve heard it can get lively as the night moves on. I’d never let my son go there.”

We hope this report won’t put off intending settlers in the Principality. Certainly, few seemed discouraged by the spiralling rents. As one local estate agent said to us, “They just go on rising with no end in sight. I heard the other day that a 6m2 bathroom in one building had a rental value of well over a quarter of a million euros!” Russians, Brits and Dutch are among the most eager buyers. Security, of course, has always been a major selling point for Monaco. According to la sûreté publique, “Security companies, building managers, concierges, street cleaners ... all make up a network of information gathering which helps keep down crime.” Those Russians of a certain age must feel nostalgic for the old days when Moscow, too, was a very safe place.

From Riviera Reporter Issue 129: Oct/Nov 2008