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ADE651 hoax bomb detector

Abadi Orders Police to Stop using Fake Bomb Detectors

By John Lee.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has reportedly ordered the removal of ‘ADE651‘ fake bomb detectors from checkpoints, as the death toll from Saturday’s bombings in Baghdad rose to at least 147.

According to a report from The Telegraph, he also asked the interior ministry to launch a new investigation into “corrupt deals” to buy the fake bomb detectors, which are still in use in Iraq three years after British conman James McCormick was jailed for selling them.

McCormick was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2013 for selling 6,000 fake detectors to Iraq for as much as £27,000 each.

(Source: The Telegraph)

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ADE651 hoax bomb detector

Bomb Detector Conman ordered to pay back £8m

By John Lee.

A British conman who sold fake bomb detectors to Iraq and other countries has been ordered to pay back nearly £8 million of his ill gotten gains, according to a report from the Daily Mail.

James McCormick, who lived a life of luxury by ripping off customers, was jailed for 10 years in 2013 after being found guilty of three counts of fraud.

The ADE651 detectors sold by his company, ATSC, contained nothing that could be used in the detection of explosives.

A court heard his total criminal gains were more than £21 million, but he now had assets worth £7,944,834, which was ordered to be paid.

Under the victims compensation order, Iraq was awarded £2.3 million.

(Source: Daily Mail)

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Fake Bomb Detectors still Endanger Iraqis

By Shukur Khilkhal for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

In 2007, the Iraqi Interior Ministry imported 7,000 ADE651 bomb detectors in a deal with British businessman James McCormick.

Though widely used at Iraqi checkpoints, these devices have not helped stop the bombings in Baghdad and many Iraqi provinces that have caused massive destruction and casualties. According to a report published by Alsumaria TV Dec. 31, 2014 saw a high level of bloodshed, with most casualties in Iraq being caused by car bombs.

The devices have a movable antenna installed on the plastic handle. The antenna is supposed to point in the direction of items containing explosives. However, seven years of use have shown that it does not. The antenna actually points out other unexpected items, such as perfumes, dental fillings and household detergents.

In a Jan. 23 telephone interview with Al-Monitor, Radio Demozy’s director Ibrahim al-Saadi said that many baffling issues have been noted in the device. Whenever the antenna points at people, the security officers at checkpoints ask them weird questions such as whether they are carrying perfumes, or whether they were visiting a dentist. The device seems to randomly point to anything, leading some Iraqis to rename it the “detector of dental fillings,” Saadi said.

In its program “Talk of the Town,” Radio Demozy has dedicated episodes to discussing the bomb detectors, airing statements from officials on the matter.

In 2013, McCormick was sentenced in Britain to 10 years in prison for exporting these devices to several countries — including Iraq, the largest importer. The court found that the devices gave these countries a false sense of security and caused the deaths of large numbers of people.

The BBC published a report on Dec. 22, 2010, documenting the ineffectiveness of these devices, based on an experiment conducted by a British laboratory. The report revealed that the device had also been examined in the United States and was shown to malfunction. In 2013, another television show, Al-Baghdadia’s “Studio at 9,” also addressed the bomb detectors.

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Money from Fake Bomb Detectors Repatriated

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Commission of Integrity has reportedly repatriated five billion Iraqi dinars [$4.3 million] that were smuggled to Lebanon.

According to Aswat al Iraq, the money, in addition to some real estate investments, were illegally obtained by British businessman James (Jim) McCormick, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Britain for fraud.

The ADE651 detectors sold by his company, ATSC, contain nothing that could be used in the detection of explosives.

(Source: Aswat al Iraq)

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$84m from Fake Bomb Detector Scam

A British businessman has been found guilty of an $84-million fraud involving the sale of fake bomb detectors to Iraq and other countries.

A jury found Jim McCormick guilty on three counts of fraud over the scam, which involved passing off novelty golfball finders, containing no functioning electronics, as bomb detectors.

They “ADE651” detectors were installed at checkpoints in Baghdad through which car bombs and suicide bombers passed, killing hundreds of civilians. According to The Guardian, they were in use at least up to last month at checkpoints across the Iraqi capital.

Experts said the detectors lacked any grounding in science, and did not work in accordance with the known laws of physics. McCormick, aged 57, sold 6,000 of the useless devices for as much as £27,000 each.

McCormick, director of British-based security company ATSC, claimed his devices could detect minuscule traces of explosives, class A drugs, ivory and human beings at a distance of up to 1km at ground level and from a plane flying 5km high, reported The Telegraph.

A former colleague of McCormick told the BBC he saw him set up accounts in false names for 15 Iraqi officials. General Jihad al-Jabiri, who ran the Baghdad bomb squad, is in jail on corruption charges relating to the contracts.

McCormick will be sentenced next month, and faces up to eight years in jail.

(Sources: The Guardian, The Telegraph, BBC)

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UK Men Charged with Selling Fake Bomb Detectors to Iraq

By John Lee.

British Police have charged six people over the sale of allegedly fake bomb detection equipment to foreign countries, including Iraq.

James McCormick, 55, who has been charged with six counts of fraud, was the director of British-based security company ATSC that sold explosive-detecting devices, according to Reuters.

The ATSC website says its equipment can detect explosives, narcotics and other substances at long distances through electro-magnetic attraction.

McCormick appeared in court on Thursday to deny the charges and was remanded in custody for a week, while the other five suspects will appear before magistrates on 18th July.

In February 2011, Iraqi authorities arrested a high-ranking police official in connection with the purchase of the ADE651 bomb detectors (pictured).

(Sources: Reuters, Crown Prosecution Service)

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Committee Names Most Corrupt Ministries

The electricity, trade, defense and interior ministries have been identified as the most corrupt of the country’s ministries, the Integrity Committee in parliament.

Iraq’s Integrity Commission has announced that it has opened an investigation into corruption in the Iraqi Defense Ministry

AKnews reports that the investigation relates to all of the department’s dealings since 2003, especially relating to the purchase of arms.

Committee member Aziz al-Ukaili told the news agency that the Commission is unable to follow up all of the cases of corruption in all ministries, since the ministries include “persons that can be hardly detected.”

The 2010 corruption index published by Transparency International put Iraq third from bottom in the perception of corruption.

Earlier this year, Iraqi authorities arrested a high-ranking police official in connection with the purchase of “ADE651” bomb detection devices, purchased from a British-based company, which were described as practically useless.

(Source: AKnews)

Posted in Iraq Industry & Trade News, Security 1 Comment

Iraqi Official Charged in Bomb Detector Scandal

Iraqi authorities have arrested a high-ranking police official in connection with the purchase of a bomb detector that the British government says does not work, officials said on Thursday.

Reuters reports that Iraq spent about £75 million [$120m] on the devices, which are widely used by police and soldiers at security checkpoints and were meant to be a key defence against insurgents.

A series of blasts that killed hundreds in recent years had Iraqis questioning how militants got trucks, buses and cars packed with explosives through Baghdad’s numerous checkpoints.

The government began investigations after reports the ADE651 bomb detection devices purchased from a British-based company were practically useless.

“Major General Jihad al-Jabiri, the commander of the bomb squad, was arrested five days ago,” a senior police official close to the investigation told Reuters. “There are documents and incriminating evidence in the explosives detector case.”

An Iraq Supreme Judicial Council official confirmed Jabiri’s arrest on corruption charges but declined to provide details.

Britain’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced in January 2010 it would ban exports to Iraq and Afghanistan of the ADE651 device. It is shaped like a pistol and features a swivelling antenna meant to point at explosives.

Iraqi lawmakers demanded security forces stop using them and that the government try to get its money back.

But some Iraqi officials have defended them, saying they have detected many bombs and munitions stockpiles.

Investigation revealed that Jabiri recommended that Iraq sign five contracts to supply security forces with the detectors for between $23 million [$37m] and £35 million [$56m] each even though the real cost of the devices is no more than £62 [$99], the senior official said.

The inspector general of the Interior Ministry, which controls the police, said he investigated the detectors two years ago and found them “inoperative” and costly. He recommended that Iraq should not buy the devices.

[Source: Reuters]

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