French police have arrested five men in connection with an ingenious casino scam in the Mediterranean town of Cannes.
Wearing special lenses allowed three Italian men to see invisible ink on a marked set of cards, whilst two French insiders working at the casino were able to ensure that the swindling trio were only dealt the loaded pack.
They were able to pocket over €40,000 (£35,000) during one game using the scam whilst playing stud poker against the croupier. Later in the week they returned to dupe the casino out of a further €20,000 (£17,500), arousing suspicion. Altogether they are charged with stealing £56,000 and could face up to 10 years in jail.
Detectives believe the hustle may have been employed in casinos across Europe. The packs were marked with an invisible line for an ace and a cross for a king. A police spokesman was quoted as saying:
"At first we thought they were using cameras, but we didn't find anything. Finally, we realised that their strategy involved using contact lenses."
The Italians are said to be linked to organised crime. A lawyer for one of the men is quoted as saying that his client had "come to the Cote [d'Azur] with a friend to have a good time and only brought a pair of sandals, a towel and a pack of cards, but that doesn't make him a cheat.”