[LINK] Search continues for other missing weapons

Adam Todd link at todd.inoz.com
Sun Jan 7 00:05:58 AEDT 2007

I've been watching this story for a few days, both in the media and via 
other places of interest.  Rather interesting to see what information is 
leaked to the media, given to the media and discovered by the media.

But I think what stands out most is the whole lack of accountability, 
monitoring and management.

Search continues for other missing weapons

Craig Skehan
January 6, 2007

Other related coverage

plant target for stolen rocket launchers, police allege
warning 'ignored'
rocket launcher mystery
rocket launchers 'sold to terror suspect'
rocket launcher found

THE dramatic arrest yesterday over the theft of an Australian Defence Force 
rocket launcher comes amid ASIO involvement in attempts to find out how 
many more of the weapons may be missing.

Sources said some of the launchers could have been stolen while they were 
being transported from the US manufacturer to the Australian Defence Force 
or after they were obtained by Defence.

While an audit has not found records of missing launchers since "computer 
integration" in about 2000, sources said it was more difficult to determine 
what might have happened before that.

There could be no guarantees that someone in a position of trust with the 
defence establishment had not more recently falsified computer records.

The Australian Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty, said that the one 
rocket launcher recovered in Sydney definitely belonged to Defence and that 
there was an investigation to determine whether seven more are missing.

The Federal Government announced last month that ASIO was being brought in 
to oversee an urgent review of Defence Force security amid fears that 
criminals, and possibly terrorists, had obtained the shoulder-fired 
66-millimetre rocket launchers from the army.

The army stopped distributing the launchers, except in specifically 
authorised operations.

The Herald had earlier reported that NSW and federal police suspected 
inside involvement by rogue soldiers in the theft, but Mr Keelty said 
yesterday that no individual soldiers were being targeted.

The launcher recovered was bought back in September by police in a special 
operation from the family of a Sydney criminal, but the Mr Keelty denied 
yesterday that a second rocket launcher had been recovered.

The federal Opposition defence spokesman, Joel Fitzgibbon, said yesterday 
that the latest developments placed even more pressure on the Government to 
ensure that weapons were securely held.

He cited a "long and sorry record of poor inventory keeping in regard to 
military equipment".

Mr Keelty said yesterday that the focus of the investigations was on how 
the recovered launcher "got from Defence to civilian possession".

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