$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)

3 Responses to $84m from Fake Bomb Detector Scam

  1. Lorenzo 23rd April 2013 at 19:09 #

    I read in some report that this case was one the very first proven cases of corruption by the Interior Ministry or that 75% of this money was commissions to governmental employees.
    The Interior Ministry invoked article 136/b that allow minister to stop investigations going to court.
    Think if the immunity rights from the politicians could be revoked and make them responsible in front of the Law and of all citizens of Iraq. That would be great, or??

  2. Wideboards 25th April 2013 at 14:03 #

    Corruption is endemic throughout the world, even in the 'honest' western democracies. It is not getting better but has become much worse in my lifetime of 65 years. It is probably impossible to correct. After all, it is the thieves that are in charge of the world - so why would they create the the laws and judicial conditions that would either reduce their own take or entrap themselves and get themselves sent to prison ? Below them, the vast majority of the population only bemoans the corruption above them because they are not in a position to dip into the honey-pot themselves. Most people are dishonest in just the same way that most people who declare themselves as God believers and adherents to any branch of any religion do not practice the tenets of their religion - or only the ones that suit at any particular moment.

  3. Ahmed 25th April 2013 at 20:08 #

    I just don't understand, why still this faked device be used in Iraq after this scandal! Almost of the people in there believe it is necessary for protecting them.
    It seems that not just McCormick involved in this corruption, but the biggest corruption was from the Iraqi side. I believe they are fighting to hide their crimes which are more dangerous than the bombs themselves.