Tourist get crooked by fake petitions
Paris is the world's most visited place, but the square behind Notre Dame was now empty of tourists.
I still saw some children having fun on the playground behind Notre Dame. I first though they were holidaymakers from India wearing Saris. When I got close I recognized the Romanian gypsy pickpocket gang. They were eight girls of about ten, some of them maybe twelve. It is difficult to tell their age because they are constantly undernourished and don’t grow tall. The new comers were wearing long flowered skirts, headscarves and colored socks in their sandals. The others looked like any Parisian teen girl in their skinny jeans and leather jackets. They try to abandon their traditional looks as soon as possible because it is neither easy to run away fast nor merge into a crowd when wearing a longue skirt.
This gang is acting close to the Notre Dame Cathedral. Their tactic is to ask tourists to sign a petition for a fake organization. Both to avoid any speaking and gain more sympathy the gypsy girl pretends to be deaf-mute. She holds a paper on which she has photocopied known handicap organizations logos. Right after signing the tourist realizes, too late, that next to the signature there is a blank place for an amount to pay. This is a kind of a double-scam. In addition to the fake charity money they place the list against your belly in a way that they can lift your wallet or mobile phone while you are occupied to sign.
Now the fake petitions were negligently thrown on the ground. One of the girls snatched another's flowered scarf and ran around the playground like mad. Others tried to catch it and followed her laughing out loud.
Million euros a year
I used to look at these teen mothers with hate and anger when they carried babies and begged for money in plaintive voices in the metro. Like most people I couldn't understand why they would have babies when they were living a miserable camp. Then I heard about the collective rape punishments to those who didn't bring enough stolen money at the end of the day. Some time ago French police dismantled a Europe-wide ring of organized pickpockets called the Hamidovic clan. Mister Hamidovic and his sons purchased young girls from poor families in Bosnia Herzegovina and brought them to Paris to pickpocket every day form 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The girls were told to give Hamidovic every time the police asked their name. Mister Hamidovic himself was living in luxury thanks to these children who brought in altogether more than one million euros yearly income.