Selling death. Fraudulent bomb detectors.


How'd you like to be "protected" by checkpoints where your military and police - paid to protect you with your tax money - use bomb detectors that have been proven NOT TO WORK? Example: you're rolling through Baghdad in your convoy. You're kinda scared. You approach a checkpoint. Driver stops. Dudes in uniform, Iraqi military hopefully, walk around your car. Some dude starts walking kinda funny and walks in a straight line past your car while holding a plastic handle with an antenna sticking straight out in front. The antenna wobbles, but the "operator" says it was his fault, he took a wrong step. Driver starts your car back up and you roll out of the checkpoint. The multiple artillery shells (cheap, easy to come by) with some detonators attached to a simple electric switch under the driver's seat in the car behind you roll on through the checkpoint right behind you, destined for a hotel area or a market place or any place with lots of people like a Sunni/Shiite mosque after Friday prayers.

Yeah, I wouldn't like that either.

Iraq. $85 million plus some kickbacks no doubt.

Yuri Markov.
Jim McCormick.

James Randi is offering $1 million to anyone that can make these things work in a double blind test. He's safe with his money. A dowsing rod on a stick. A plastic handle with an unstable antenna-like thing sticking out of it won't detect any explosives this side of a fantasy novel.

Only way you can detect them is with dogs, mirrors, flashlights, very expensive air-sniffing chemistry machines (think the thing you see in an airport terminal for x-raying luggage - but twice as big and ten times more expensive) or somewhat less expensive but less all-encompassing chemical wipes - you wipe the strip on a piece of luggage and then put the strip in a solution, shake it and wait - or a series of chemical tests. Think a pH-checking test for water - but way more complex and expensive.

One maker, ATSC Ltd, sold thousands of the so-called detectors, which essentially consist of a radio aerial on a hinge attached to a plastic handle, to Iraq for $85m.
It has been alleged that hundreds of Iraqis died in explosions in Baghdad after ADE651 detectors failed to detect suicide bombers at checkpoints.
ATSC boss Jim McCormick is currently on bail after being arrested on suspicion of fraud in connection with the so-called detectors.
The profit margins in the sale of this equipment are enormous.
The manufacturer of another of the devices, the Alpha 6, has admitted to Newsnight that they make them for £11 and then they are sold for £15,000 each to the end user.
'Unsuitable for British Army'
On Thursday, the UK government told BBC Newsnight that between 2001 and 2004 a Royal Engineers sales team went around the world demonstrating the GT200, another of the "magic wand" detectors which has been banned for export to Iraq and Afghanistan, at arms fairs around the world even though the British Army did not consider them suitable for its own use.
Seems like the Royal Engineers got bamboozled for a bit. Hey, you're not alone. The US military bought some to test them out (they buy stuff all the time just to see if it might possibly be of use). They didn't work. The manufacturers will of course tout the "bought by US military" thing and not report the "hey guys these things don't work" part. ***holes.


Oops. Wrong link. Another anti-fraud blog about the scams.

Right link: http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=124620

Bulgaria: Bulgarian Invents 'Scam' Bomb Detector - Report
Yuri Markov, a Bulgarian engineer, has allegedly invented a useless 'bomb detector', which has been subsequently marketed. File photo
Bulgarian engineer has invented abomb detector, which has reportedly turned out to be completely useless.
According to a BBC investigation, UKauthorities have admitted they the UKArmy and civil servants helped market so-called bomb detectors, which did not work, around the world. One of these detectors has turned out to be a Bulgarianinvention,
The product, called the HEDD1consists of a radio aerial on a handle and is made in Bulgaria. It has been displayed at a security exhibition at Olympia in London, even though it already has been banned for sale in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The company selling the devices, Unival, claimed that while all the other products which looked like it were a "massive scam", theirs was different," the BBC says.
However, the US Navy has subjected the product to a double-blind test and found it does not work.
In fact, the maker of HEDD1Bulgarian engineer Yuri Markov, had been charged in the United States in 2008 for fraudulently claiming that the previous version of his so-called bomb detector could detect explosives, BBC claims.

1 comment:

  1. when this story first appeared on the media it made a buzz and all people couldn't hide their resentment (i was one of them) the iraqi ministry of interior affairs (the body who approved and signed the deal) first they defended those lousy devices then the spokesmen declared that an investigation has launched to identified people responsible for this deal and that's all , no body heard anything about that investigation and i think no body will hear anything about it in the future, we don't have lobbies that can affect the government policies while the people just get busy with the new blood shed and there everyday emerging challenges for the life basics