Bonneteau : Find the Lady

056.JPGBonneteau, the Geneva equivalent of the confidence game "Find the Lady", can be seen regularly near the CGN lake boats station at the north end of the Mont Blanc bridge.

Last Saturday morning, I decided to profit from the good weather (and empty Geneva) by taking the last but one summer timetable lake cruise of the CGN paddle steamer Savoie, After walking down from the Geneva railway station to the departure point, just at the north end corner of the Pont du Mont Blanc. I noticed the confidence trick "game" just on the corner, so I took a quick photo. In Geneva this "sting" game is called Bonneteau, being the equivalent of the English "Three card Monte", which has many other names, including "Find the Lady".

On getting on board the boat, I asked a crew member if I should call the police. He shrugged his shoulders, said that the con men had been there for two years, were occasionally arrested but always seemed to be released and return pretty quickly. This fact is borne out by the number of videos on YouTube, one of which even shows an arrest by Geneva police. I have not yet found a video of the subsequent release from custody.

On my photo the con man is clearly the man kneeling down, whilst the man in the blue shirt and jeans is probably his "money-winning" assistant. The mark is the man in the purple shirt and white jeans, whilst I suspect that the man right at the back, leaning over the barrier, is the lookout, strategically placed to spot any police car approaching from any direction. The lady might be a bystander, another accomplice or another potential mark.

Now you can play, for free, my version of Find the Lady, in saying which of three ladies you think might be most interested in reading my blog.

1. The lady in the picture (I don't know her name!).

2. The politician who is head of the Geneva police department, Isabel Rochat, who will shortly be having four days in the USA (she might like to note some of the English expressions in this blog).

3. The Swiss ex-president, Ruth Dreifuss , who passed me in the train back to Geneva yesterday evening, lives in Geneva and certainly regrets that this con trickery is still going on.

And the link to aviation? Five minutes after I took the photograph the con man pulled up the undercarriage (the mat and accessories) and took off like a scrambled air force fighter jet (but with less noise!).

16:26 Posted in Potpourri | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: bonneteau, geneva, confidence trick | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook


There's no mark, both men and the woman are accomplices and yes, the man in the back is the lookout

Posted by: Spaceman | 09/12/2011

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