World

Millionaire's son burns car to get new Ferrari

The son of a Swiss millionaire wanted an upgrade on his Ferrari 458 Italia.

So the 20-year-old paid three men to set fire to his Ferrari and ideally, with the insurance money claimed, he could get a newer model.

Unfortunately, security cameras and telephone records led police to him and his accomplices, who were arrested in Switzerland and taken to Augsburg, Germany.

The car, valued at 190,000 francs (S$267,000), was one of 15 cars, including a Lamborghini, which the 20-year-old's rich father had bought for him, reported Swiss online newspaper thlocal.ch

The man and his three accomplices, all aged between 20 and 30, appeared before a tribunal in Augsburg last Wednesday.

The incident took place in March last year, reported French newspaper 20 Minutes.

The court heard that the man, the son of a Zurich-based businessman, found out that his car was valued at only 190,000 francs. He claimed he was advised by a car dealer to commit insurance fraud by setting fire to the car.

The dealer then recruited an accomplice from his garage to help, reported 20 Minutes.

To cover their tracks, they carried out their operation in an industrial area in Augsburg.

ALIBI

The Swiss owner and a friend went to a massage parlour to establish an alibi while two others set light to the car, which later exploded.

Each accomplice received 15,000 francs for their help, said 20 Minutes.

The Ferrari owner was later arrested, placed in custody but was released after paying his 200,000 euro (S$303,000) bail.

At his trial, he said he received between 5,000 and 10,000 francs a month from his father but at the time of the incident, his accounts had run dry, he told the court.

He also said he owned several properties totalling 27 million francs and 15 cars all paid for by his father.

He added that he didn't dare to tell his father that he no longer liked his Ferrari.

The judge sentenced the man to 22 months probation and a fine of 30,000 euros.

His three accomplices received probation of 14 to 16 months each.

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