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Stolen_violin_puts_gang_of_fiddlers_behind_bars

Stolen violin puts gang of fiddlers behind bars

Austrian police have revealed how the bid to recover a violin that was stolen from an Australian musician allowed them to smash a gang of drug dealers operating in the heart of the capital Vienna.

The gang ended up behind bars when one of their members targeted musician Emma West from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as she travelled from the airport into Vienna.

Loaded up with luggage including the valuable violin she had accepted help from a young man aged 20 to get onto the train – but once inside the carriage she realised that her violin had vanished - and the mystery helper.

Police in the Austrian capital then had a tipoff that the violin had been put up for sale by somebody who had been under observation from offices working to investigate drug dealing gang as part of an investigation dubbed Operation Windwarder. CCTV images from the station provided a further piece of the puzzle.

The informant told them that the violin had been hidden at the home of the mother of 20-year-old Croat Danijel Pacis. When he was arrested and the violin recovered he cooperated with police, helping to expose the entire gang and leading to the arrest of two mister big drug dealers - and the recovery of a substantial haul of drugs.

The violin estimated to be worth 44,000 euros has since been handed back to the Australian violinist Emma West, who said that she thought she would never see it again after it was swiped by the crooks.

She said: "I am really happy that I've got the instrument back in my hands again – I really didn't think I was ever going to see it again."

Emma West teaches at the Sydney Conservatorium and tutors for the Australian Youth Orchestra, Sydney Youth Orchestra, and the Riverina Summer School for Strings.

Prior to her appointment as Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Sydney Symphony in 1997, she played with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. From July 2004 to July 2006 she was Acting Principal Second Violin of the Sydney Symphony.

Vienna Times





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