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Man found guilty of selling fake bomb detectors


Dave
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Quite possibly the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22266051

James McCormick guilty of selling fake bomb detectors

 

A millionaire businessman who sold fake bomb detectors to countries including Iraq and Georgia, knowing they did not work, has been convicted of fraud.

 

James McCormick, 56, of Langport, Somerset, is said to have made £50m from sales and sold over 6,000 to Iraq.

 

The devices, which sold for up to $40,000 (£27,000), were based on a novelty golf ball finder and supposed to detect explosives, people and drugs.

 

An Iraqi bomb victim described him to the BBC as a "morally bankrupt" man.

 

The models were described by prosecutors as completely ineffectual and lacking any grounding in science.

 

McCormick's claims

 

Police said McCormick showed a complete disregard for the safety of those who used and relied upon the device for their own security and protection.

 

There is no evidence that he tried to sell to the Ministry of Defence, but an Essex policeman organised a demonstration which was watched by an MoD inspector.

 

McCormick claimed that the detectors could bypass "all forms of concealment" and would detect explosives, drugs, and people.

 

He claimed they would work under water and from the air, and would track an object up to one kilometre below the ground.

 

Devices came with cards which were "programmed" to detect a wide array of substances from ivory to $100 banknotes.

 

Other substances could be detected - it was claimed - if put in a jar with a sticker which would absorb its "vapours" and which was then stuck on to a card which would be read by the machine.

 

In fact McCormick's device was based on $20 (£13) golf ball finders which he had purchased from the US, and had no working electronics.

http://i.imgur.com/6nXigOM.jpg

 

Richard Whittam QC, who was prosecuting, said "the devices did not work and he knew they did not work."

 

'Morally bankrupt'

 

Iraq spent more than $40m (£26.2m) on 6,000 devices between 2008 and 2010.

 

Haneen Alwan needed 59 operations after she was injured in a bomb blast in January 2009. She was two months pregnant at the time and lost her child.

 

"When people passed through checkpoints using these devices, they thought they would be safe, but they are useless. The man who sold them has no conscience. He is morally bankrupt. How could he sell them just for money and destroy other people's lives?" she told a BBC Newsnight investigation into the case.

 

A senior Iraqi official told the BBC that the useless devices had created a false sense of security - and that no punishment would make up for the blood that had been shed as a result.

 

The Newsnight programme conducted an investigation into the devices sold by McCormick's company, resulting in a UK government ban on their sale in Iraq and Afghanistan in January 2010.

 

The investigation revealed that senior Iraqi officials knew the devices did not work and received bribes to ensure they were purchased.

 

General Jihad al-Jabiri, the head of the Baghdad bomb squad, is currently serving a jail term for corruption, along with two other Iraqi officials.

 

The Inspector General of the Iraqi interior ministry, Aqil al-Turehi, is conducting an investigation which revealed that a vehicle carrying rockets and missiles passed undetected through 23 checkpoints using the device.

 

http://i.imgur.com/f5nvOxJ.jpg

The fake bomb detectors were based on a $20 golf ball finder, pictured between two examples of McCormick's fake devices

 

"The devices were used at numerous checkpoints within Iraq during this period. It is clear that both civilians and armed forces personnel were put at significant risk in relying upon this equipment," said Det Insp Ed Heath of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, the deputy senior investigating officer.

 

"McCormick showed a complete disregard for the safety of those that used and relied upon the device for their own security and protection. He amassed many millions of pounds through his greed and criminal enterprise."

 

Det Supt Nigel Rock of Avon and Somerset Police called McCormick "a conman".

 

"We have heard evidence from many, many experts, scientists, leaders in their field, who have said this was a fraud. A sham.

 

"That device has been used and is still being used on checkpoints. People using that device believe it works. It does not."

 

Police intend to pursue McCormick's wealth under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

 

The 56-year-old currently owns houses in Florida and Cyprus, as well as a yacht, and recently bought film star Nicholas Cage's mansion in Bath.

 

McCormick was remanded on conditional bail and will be sentenced on 2 May.

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Should get life like, but those who bought them and didn't test them should shoulder some blame as well.

 

 

 

:lol: Really?! Bit harsh.

 

Really? He put so many lives in danger for money. Every life lost or effected by a bomb going off that his shit didn't detect is on his hands.

 

 

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Should get life like, but those who bought them and didn't test them should shoulder some blame as well.

 

 

 

:lol: Really?! Bit harsh.

 

Really? He put so many lives in danger for money. Every life lost or effected by a bomb going off that his s*** didn't detect is on his hands.

 

 

 

:lol: No, the second half of the sentence.

 

The dude should rot in jail.

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Should get life like, but those who bought them and didn't test them should shoulder some blame as well.

 

 

 

:lol: Really?! Bit harsh.

 

Really? He put so many lives in danger for money. Every life lost or effected by a bomb going off that his s*** didn't detect is on his hands.

 

 

 

:lol: No, the second half of the sentence.

 

The dude should rot in jail.

 

Ah right, I meant at an official level say the MoD if our lot were using them, not the actual people (soldiers, police, guards) that used them.

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I'm confused. The 'novelty' golf ball detectors, were they just a joke item? How many of them did he buy?

 

Based in this kind of nonsense. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowsing

 

Sold as 'novelties' for legal purposes but there are people who believe in it.  Much like horoscopes, ouija boards, healing crystals etc. 

 

Reminds me of a military version of this stuff

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Balance

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Military was warned two years ago that the devices were fake

 

More than two years after being told they were fake, Thailand's military is still using bogus bomb detectors that were fraudulently sold by a discredited British company, according to the country’s Department of Special Investigation.

 

Thai security forces so far have bought 1,576 of the fake devices at a cost of US$30 million, investigators said, which the army currently uses against Islamist guerrillas despite a U.S. Embassy alert that the devices are "like a toy."

 

Asia Sentinel and other publications reported on Feb, 17, 2010, that the devices were fake. Then-Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said at the time that the devices had worked only four times in 20 field tests, a frequency even below random chance. Critics said the use of the devices could subject the users to the possibility of being blown if the operator fails to detect a nearby explosive that is detonated.

 

The Department of Special Investigation --Thailand's equivalent to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation -- announced two weeks ago that the manufacturers and distributors of the useless devices fraudulently sold them to Thailand's security forces and other agencies. The DSI then sent the case to the National Anti-Corruption Commission, which set up 13 panels on July 24 to investigate the purchases.

 

However, Thailand's top generals continue to endorse the devices.

 

"Do not say the GT200 used as a bomb detector in the far south does not work," Defense Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat said in July, referring to southern Thailand where 40,000 troops are fighting Muslim separatists.

 

More than 5,000 people have died on all sides in the south since 2004 -- including by explosives.

 

"It has often detected explosives. If it can detect a bomb just once, it is worth it," Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol said.

 

In 2006, when he was air force chief of staff, the air force was Thailand's first agency to buy GT200s to detect drugs and bombs at airports, Thai media reported.

 

Soon afterwards, the army bought more than 750 GT200s, reportedly endorsed by Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who is now Thailand's army chief.

 

"I have seen the effectiveness of GT200 detectors in finding explosives," the military's Supreme Commander Thanasak Patimapakorn said in July, echoing the armed forces' closed-rank approach toward public criticism about the devices.

 

"For the military to admit that they were duped into buying useless bomb detectors...may invite unwanted investigation into suspected corruption," wrote Bangkok Post's former editor Veera Prateepchaikul on July 23.

 

There is no public evidence of wrongdoing by any military officials linked to the procurement contracts.

 

The DSI said a British company, ComsTrac, produced and sold GT200s and Alpha 6s to Bangkok by creating two representative companies for distribution, and three subcontractors.

 

The black devices include a small rectangular plastic box topped with a plastic cylinder, which can be gripped by hand.

 

"Speaking as a professional, I would say that is an empty plastic case," British explosives expert Sidney Alford told the British Broadcasting Corp. in 2010 after opening a GT200.

 

An insertable "detection card" which supposedly makes the device sensitive to explosives or drugs, is a useless paper card, Alford said. A shiny, collapsible, radio-style metal antenna sticks out of the plastic cylinder and swivels, purportedly when detecting something.

 

During security checks, nervous troops are ordered to slowly wave the device—making its antenna randomly sway. That has failed to detect bombs on passenger trains, roads, and in vehicles in the war-torn south.

 

Thailand purchased a total of 1,576 GT200s and Alpha 6s, according to the DSI. The army is still using most of its 750 GT200s in Thailand's three Muslim-majority southern provinces.

 

After 2006, hundreds more of the devices were bought by the Border Patrol Police Bureau, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, the Justice Ministry's Institute of Forensic Science, the Customs Department and other agencies.

 

These include the Defense Ministry's Royal Aide-de-Camp Department, responsible for the security of Thailand's king, queen, crown prince and other royal family members.

 

On Feb. 26, 2010, the American Embassy in Bangkok alerted the U.S. National Security Council, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Secretary of Defense, the military's Pacific Command in Hawaii, and U.S. embassies in Japan, China, South Korea and elsewhere about Thailand's continued use of the GT200.

 

The "confidential" report, released by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, was titled "GT200 Bomb Detector Failure Ignites Discussion on Civil-Mil (Civilian-Military) Relations, Human Rights, Procurement," and said in part:

 

"The GT200 is used throughout Thailand by many agencies, most notably in the conflict-ridden Deep South. The bomb detection squad in Yala [a Muslim-majority province in southern Thailand] told us that they never thought it worked, but they were ordered to use it. The squad passed the GT200 to Emboff (U.S. Embassy officials) to hold; it looked and felt like a toy," the embassy's report said.

 

The U.S. Embassy noted "the questionable use of the device to detain alleged insurgents," because the antenna wobbles toward innocent people who are then detained and interrogated.

 

"To most people, the GT200 appears to be a glorified dowsing rod," the U.S. Embassy said, comparing the erratic antenna to a wooden twig which people claim detects water.

 

"We have done a double-blind test where the equipment was only successful in discovering [explosives] in 20 percent of the cases, when just a random choice would give you 25 percent," then-prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva announced in 2010. "So there is no statistical significance to having the equipment."

 

After that belated test, Bangkok banned additional "procurement" of both devices, but not their continued use by security forces. As a result, the military and other security agencies have become the laughing stock of Thailand's media and society for using the devices.

 

A Bangkok Post editorial cartoon on July 22 portrayed a DSI investigator using a gigantic GT200 to electronically zap a uniformed official, who stumbles after being hit.

 

Following the paper trail, Thai media dubbed the faulty devices as "corruption detectors."

 

The DSI's announcement came several days after an 18-month international investigation by Britain which resulted in British businessman Jim McCormick being charged in London on July 11 with fraud for allegedly selling fake bomb detectors to 20 countries.

 

In January 2010, Britain banned various fake bomb detectors being exported to Iraq and Afghanistan, after the Iraqi government paid $85 million for 1,500 hand-held devices named ADE651, allegedly produced by ATSC, McCormick's company.

 

When that ban was announced, the British Broadcasting Corp. said it "obtained a GT200 that was sold as a bomb detector, and discovered that it was almost identical to the ADE651," and sold in England by Global Technical, headed by Gary Bolton.

 

(Richard S. Ehrlich is a Bangkok-based journalist. Check out his stories at http://www.asia-correspondent.110mb.com)

 

We're still using these god damn things. Fucking corrupt politicians.

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As wrong as the whole thing is I am impressed he managed to get away with it for so long, I am sure one report earlier said he had made £88m! That's mental considering what he was actually selling and pulling it off.

 

 

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BIkDypJCUAEWgAH.jpg

 

Looks like a fatter George Galloway iyam.

 

http://i35.tinypic.com/24nhb49.jpg

 

Looks like a right cunt: therefore, must be an making money out of other people's misery.

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Like Blue Star pointed out these are just modern dowsing tools and James Randi demonstrated (every time) that its bullshit.

 

And someone spent 50m quid on them.  People are some stupid dicks sometimes.

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If we can prosecute a man for selling fake bomb detectors, how are homeopaths still in business?

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/willardfoxton2/100009087/if-we-can-prosecute-a-man-for-selling-fake-bomb-detectors-how-are-homeopaths-still-in-business/

 

Good point

 

Homeopathic medicines have a placebo effect, at the very least.

 

Waving a joke golf ball detector at a mine field does not.

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If we can prosecute a man for selling fake bomb detectors, how are homeopaths still in business?

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/willardfoxton2/100009087/if-we-can-prosecute-a-man-for-selling-fake-bomb-detectors-how-are-homeopaths-still-in-business/

 

Good point

 

Homeopathic medicines have a placebo effect, at the very least.

 

Waving a joke golf ball detector at a mine field does not.

 

At the very least they have no effect whatsoever.  Thats why the placebo 'effect' is such a scam.  Even the queen is into homoeopathy. Daft bint.

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