Italo-French couple charged with multiple thefts

The couple have been accused of committing no less than eleven instances of aggravated theft and fraud since March

The couple have been accused of committing no less than eleven instances of aggravated theft and fraud since March
The couple have been accused of committing no less than eleven instances of aggravated theft and fraud since March

A couple with a growing criminal record have been remanded in custody today after being accused of committing no less than eleven instances of aggravated theft and fraud since late March.

Inspector Trevor Micallef arraigned Italian bartender Gianluca Calo' and French hairdresser Elodie Didier Christine Moriceau before magistrate Audrey Demicoli this morning, where the two were charged with seven counts of aggravated theft and four counts of profiting from deceit and fraud.

The couple stand accused of committing crimes at the Corinthia, Radisson and Le Meridien hotels in St. Julians between March 25 and May 28 this year, as well as pilfering a mobile phone and cash from a car in Sliema.

Their criminal exploits had become so notorious that one local hotel had put up photos of the couple in its reception with instructions to stop them if spotted, the court was told this morning.

No details of their modus operandi or what led to the arrest of the pair emerged during this morning's arraignment, but Calo' and Moriceau, are believed to have been arrested at their home after they were identified from CCTV images.

Inspector Micallef told the court that the police had CCTV evidence, but the victims had since returned to their respective homelands and would be unable to testify.

Calo' and Moriceau have been convicted of theft in the past. The couple had both received suspended sentences in October, when they had admitted to having broken into a pharmacy in Mgarr with the intention of robbing it.

There was no admission today, however, with lawyer Simon Micallef Stafrace entering a not guilty plea on behalf of the accused.

The prosecution objected to the request for bail, arguing that the accused had no ties to the islands and were thus likely to abscond.

“They had been arrested with their suitcases packed. They had said they were leaving on the 8th June but had packed their luggage a week before,” Inspector Micallef pointed out.

Micallef Stafrace argued that bail was a right and what really mattered was that the conditions imposed by the court to control their movements. The lawyer, while conceding that there were “a multitude” of crimes, argued that none of them were serious.

“They work in Malta and have lived here for 3 years. Once their travel documents are deposited in court they cannot leave the island,” said Micallef Stafrace, adding that there was also no risk of them tampering with evidence.

But Inspector Micallef pointed out that both accused had told the police that they were unemployed.

“Either they are lying now or they were lying during the statement,” he said.

The defense retorted that the couple had left their jobs “to go abroad”.

The court refused bail due to the possibility that the accused may attempt to abscond.

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