Tuesday 27 June 2017

French police quiz Irish duo over scam

The duo were caught at a motorway rest stop on the A7 after a major police manhunt CREDIT: AFP
The duo were caught at a motorway rest stop on the A7 after a major police manhunt CREDIT: AFP

Jane O'Faherty

An Irish couple who are believed to have scammed tourists out of thousands of euro have been arrested by French police following a manhunt.

The pair, who were travelling with two small children, were apprehended near the southern town of Valence following a police hunt involving some 30 officers.

They stand accused of forcing two groups of fellow travellers to give them as much as €1,200, after telling them their caravan had been stolen.

The duo were caught at a motorway rest stop on the A7 after a major police manhunt, which saw some 30 officers deployed along the motorway's rest stops in both directions.

Police found more than €2,000 in cash in their possession, leading investigators to suspect they may have targeted other drivers along the motorway.

The A7 leads the way to the tourism hotspots of Provence and the French Riviera.

Radio station France Bleu reports the couple told two groups of victims that their caravan had been stolen, before asking for a small loan of money.

However, it is alleged the Irishman became violent and threatening once the tourists took out their wallets, intimidating them into handing over all the cash they had.

They are alleged to have taken €300 off one group, and a further €900 from another.

It's believed that neither group fought back before giving the money. However, it's understood the couple were unarmed.

The man has been taken into custody and is set to appear before a local French court in March of next year.

Irish Independent

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