Sunday, June 3, 2007

Police find stolen Austrian jewel

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A famous jewel crafted in 1864 for one of the most beautiful women in Europe has been traced to Winnipeg, and police allege it was stolen by a criminal organization worthy of a Hollywood film.

The jewel, named the Koechert Diamond Pearl, was designed for Empress Elisabeth of Austria in preparation for a court portrait.

More than a century later, in 1998, it went missing from a palace in Vienna.

Police allege a leading figure in the group behind the theft is 35-year-old Gerald Daniel Blanchard, of Vancouver, who was arrested in January. He now faces 41 charges.

Investigators said Blanchard has an incredible knowledge of electronics, and allegedly used that talent to help the group in a crime spree that last for several years and spanned three continents.

Source : CTV

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