Episode six - Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) / Intellectual property crime (Operation Curia)

The Battle of the Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands was one of the defining clashes of World War II.  Sixty years on the explosives used in the epic battle are still killing people.  In this episode of AFP we follow Federal Agent Dennis Sweeney and his local team as they continue the dangerous task of cleaning up the thousands of ordnance that litter the island.

Meanwhile, two Sydney men have been making thousands of dollars selling fraudulent pay television cards.  Federal Agent Tim Underhill has picked up the signal and now he’s on a mission to shut their operation down.

Unexploded ordnance (UXO)

Unexploded World War Two military ammunition is a deadly problem for the people of the Solomon Islands, killing at least three civilians since December 2008, and maiming many others over the past 65 years.

A once idyllic island paradise, the Solomon Islands was the scene of the Pacific War's lengthiest and most bitterly fought naval campaigns - the Battle of Guadalcanal. With such intense sustained fighting, discarded and unexploded ordnance (UXO) was always going to be high.

Unexploded ordnance is any sort of military ammunition which has failed to explode and if disturbed, may explode without warning. In the 65 years since the end of the Second World War, the Royal Solomon Island bomb squad gets daily calls from the community about the latest bomb find.

In an effort to identify and manage these lethal leftovers, disposal teams made up of Royal Solomon Islands Police members supported by advisors from the international Participating Police Force (PPF) work together to rid the islands of these explosives.

Quite small items can maim and kill if handled, as explosives are unstable compounds that become more sensitive as they age. A big challenge for authorities has been educating the locals about the dangers of unexploded ordnance.

While disposing of the ammunitions through controlled explosions or burns is the priority, the disposal teams also visit local and remote communities educating the locals about the dangers of UXOs.

Read more information on International Deployment Group

Intellectual Property crime

Intellectual Property (IP) crime is not a victimless crime.  In fact IP crime affects millions of people around the world, with the manufacture, distribution and sale of counterfeit goods costing the retail industry and global economy upwards of $200 billion a year.

Organised crime syndicates have moved into Intellectual Property crime and counterfeiting because it can be as profitable as drug trafficking without the risk or penalties.

Counterfeiting always ends up costing the consumer in one form or another. The revenue lost to industry by the actions of these pirates always gets passed onto the legitimate goods we purchase, increasing their cost.

People who think they are getting 'a good deal' are usually buying something made with no regard for the consumer's health and safety. This could lead to equipment failure or even worse, explosions, fires, injury or death.

So far, Australia's retail environment has been very fortunate to not be swamped by fakes, but the counterfeit goods trade could gain a foothold here if we are not vigilant.

The AFP finds that the best leads come from the general public and if consumers have discovered a brand imitation, or are suspicious we urge them to support legitimate industry by contacting the brand owner or report it to police through Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

Read more information on IP crime

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The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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