Basque Country: fifteen months in prison closes parking meter scammers

Hamid Zerdab is 34, Christopher Mohamed 33. They were born and live in Marseille. They are two friends. The teenage son of the second has heart disease. If the two men are in the Basque Country on October 23, it is to consult a specialist in San Sebastian. At least they argue this laudable design. They will not have the leisure, arrested in Bayonne after two retirees were victims of agrefins.

First in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, at the beginning of the afternoon. A 79-year-old man parked his car at Place des Pyrénées. The president of the court, Virginie Le Petit, describes the scene: “He pays for his parking at the parking meter when a man approaches him, tells him that his card has been swallowed that he must go to the Tourist Office. A second man comes to confirm it. In order of appearance: Hamid Zerdab and Christopher Mohamed. Their victim will soon notice the disappearance of his credit card and fraudulent withdrawals from his account at the local Crédit Agricole.


They dispute the facts. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have never been to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, ”says Hamid Zerdab. His co-defendant takes the same line. However, the bank’s video surveillance allows the police to identify him, at the time of the famous withdrawals, for a total of 2,600 euros. Antoine Tugas quotes the investigator’s report: “He writes that the video is not of good quality, that there are cuts. However, he is sure that he is my client. “We don’t see his face on the recording”, supports Thierry Sagardoytho.

Did the victim recognize the two defendants on the photo? Then, among four men, during the “upholstering” behind one-way glass? The identification comes two months after the facts. “This man of venerable age, described by the prosecution as vulnerable, designates them without firing a shot, so long after…”

The same day in October, in Bayonne, same scenario. A man, aged 81, in front of a parking meter, Place de la République. A good Samaritan generously offers him assistance. “You tell him three times to recompose his code, before evoking a swallowed card”: Virginie Petit addresses Hamid Zerdab. He does not deny having met the old man but “it was he who came to ask me for help and the credit card, I found it on the ground”. The pensioner objected. The card was swallowed a little later by a Caisse d’Epargne distributor in Anglet. The video of the establishment shows the defendant trying to withdraw 1,000 euros.


However, the retiree, this time, does not recognize Hamid Zerdab any more than Christopher Mohamed. Where was the latter, during the exchange in front of the parking meter? “I haven’t left our car,” he asks. The victim believes he “felt the presence” of another man? “Division”, sweeps Me Tugas. The word “spiritualism” burns his lips.

Nouhou Diallo defends Hamid Zerdab. He would like the comparison to be right and summons a previous case of embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of euros, sanctioned by a suspended sentence. But his client suffers from the comparison: 15 mentions in the criminal record, including acts of aggravated theft, violence, fraud. His sidekick has also already experienced prison and comparable service records. The council goes through the file, identifies vagueness, inaccuracies, suggests doubt and its benefit…

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Basque Country: fifteen months in prison closes parking meter scammers

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