Finders Keepers … Losers Weepers …

Have you ever wished you could come upon a buried or hidden treasure? This is what happened to a man in the Bordeaux suburb of Mérignac, 361 miles (581 kms) southwest from Paris. The man (he has not been named), a gardener by profession, was digging in the garden of a house he had just […]

Have you ever wished you could come upon a buried or hidden treasure?

This is what happened to a man in the Bordeaux suburb of Mérignac, 361 miles (581 kms) southwest from Paris.

The man (he has not been named), a gardener by profession, was digging in the garden of a house he had just bought when his spade hit something hard. It was a bag, and the bag was filled with Euro bank notes.

Overcome with … shall I say ‘curiosity’ … he counted the money which was in 50, 100 and 500 denomination bills. They came to $165,000 – $204,000 or £140,000.

Like any ordinary mortal he did not get straight on to the telephone to his local police station house.

No.

Instead, he did his best to dry the notes – the bag had been buried only a few inches deep – and then, when they were dry, yet still rather crinkly, he went to his local hypermarket to do some shopping.

Prudent, he did not fill up the hypermarket trolley to the top so that his purchases came to less than €100. He paid with a bill from the garden, but the cashier, trained to watch out for counterfeit money called one of the shop’s security guys over, and he called over some other security guys, who led the man to an office where they waited for the police’s arrival. There was no doubt in the mind of the security guys, as there had been in that of the cashier, that the one hundred euro bill the man was paying with was counterfeit; one seldom sees someone paying with such a large bill – yes, it’s a large bill! – and it was too crinkly for their liking.

The man’s story was not quite believable. He had, he told the police, found a bag of money in his garden. “Come on,” said one of the cops, “try another one”.

But no, a quick verification of the man’s address revealed that four years ago the body of a 37-year-old man, resident at that address at that time, had been found lying on the road in front of the house; he’d been shot in the head. It was a crime which had not been solved and had become a cold case.

Was a dispute about the money the motif for the man’s murder? Or, had the murderer/s panicked and hurriedly buried the money to go and retrieve it later?

This is what the police are now trying to find out.

But can the gardener keep the money?

Under Art. 716 it is indeed a case of founder keeper.

He can therefore keep the money.

However if he had found the treasure on someone else’s property he would have had to share the money with that person.

This makes me wonder: What if one rents a house or an apartment and one comes across a treasure which had been hidden under the floorboards or in a wall? Would one then have to share with the landlord?

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

One Response

5-27-2010 at 12:38:43

I don't quite understand why the security was involved in the first place? Was the money forged or not?

If you wish not to miss one of my blogs, do subscribe.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

HOW TO CONTACT ME

Should you wish to contact me you can do so by email: marilyn@marilynztomlins.com