An expatriate filing a police complaint in Paris

If you don't speak Francais, then you can't file a police complaint. I am not talking about a complaint lodged in an obscure police station but the police station situated in the heart of the concrete jungle encompassing private and public offices in La Défense. It is ironic. If you are an Anglais speaking dude, then you can always relax in the comforts of the bar inside the Renaissance hotel a stone's throwaway. Everyone - patrons and the staff - possesses a fairly good knowledge of Anglais. More over everyone in this area can communicate in Anglais. But not the friendly neighborhood police station.

When I cajoled my friend in helping me out, I realized why the police needs a French speaking person. The person who lodges the complaint speaks only Francais. They write everything in detail; so detailed that reading my daughter's horoscope is akin to a walk in the park. They have recorded everything from my details to the details of the person who agreed to accompany me. Yes. I felt sorry for him. If anyone searches for his name inside the police database, he is definitely going to show up as the guy who accompanied another poor chap who didn't speak Francais.

Anyways, I was there to report a card fraud. There were mysterious transactions appearing on my bank statement for sums falling above my swiping style. The fact that these transactions are done on sites famous for women's clothing is of no comfort. I was labelled as a cross-dresser by a colleague. Not satisfied with his accusation, he also added multiple personality disorder to the newly inflicted wound. During the low phase which immediately followed my identity theft, I withdrew into a shell to analyze what is happening in my life. Ironically, this was one possibility. But I ruled it out after serious soul searching. Then there were many accusations. Sharing too much details on on social networks, a mistress and watching porn online were some of the prominent ones. All these were ruled out.

The most surprising part was what the police officer uttered when we stated the purpose of lodging a complaint for debit card or carte bleue fraud as it is known locally. "Another one?". There was a steady stream of similar complaints on that day in that police station. Another interesting point is if the sum total of the fraud is less than 1500 Euros, then there is no police complaint. Only a police declaration stating this transaction was not done by you. Yes, I did not lodge a complaint finally. Instead, I have the declaration with me now.

Oops. Am I divulging too much of information already?

Tags: French Lessons,Police,Compliant,Carte Bleue


  1. below 1500 euro no police complaint,but my question is who will then pay the 1500 euro which you are supposed to pay as it is showing on your card but in reality you have not spent those euroes

  2. @SM - In a way, I might pay it. The bank will reverse the charges either after a police complaint is filed or after obtaining a police declaration. The bank will investigate this further and absorb the charges. If they absorb the charges, then are going to charge on something else to compensate the loss. Ultimately, I am the loser.

  3. oh! such a sorry state of affairs! i do hope u dont end up losing that money

    i couldnt help notice your sense of humor when u said, "he is going to show up as the guy who accompanied another poor chap..." sabka record!!

  4. Hope that this gets sorted out soon ,the life in Paris sounds really tough .

  5. @Sujatha - I am keeping my fingers crossed. Yes, everybody shows up in the police files in one way or another. :)

    @Kavita - They say it will be sorted out in a month.

  6. oohhh.. thats bad :(
    Hope everything is gonna be fine soon :) :)
    Loved your blog... so i am following you and hope to see you around at
    Take care, happing blogging and stay connected :)

  7. @Madhulika - Thanks for dropping by. Yes, it was bad and I hope I can put everything behind soon.


Post a Comment