A businessman has been found guilty of a multimillion-pound fraud involving the sale of fake bomb detectors to Iraq and around the world.

A jury at the Old Bailey found Jim McCormick, 57, from near Taunton, Somerset, guilty on three counts of fraud over a scam that included the sale of £55m of devices based on a novelty golfball finder to Iraq. They were installed at checkpoints in Baghdad through which car bombs and suicide bombers passed, killing hundreds of civilians. Last month they remained in use at checkpoints across the Iraqi capital.

McCormick, who faces up to eight years in jail when he is sentenced next month, also sold the detectors to Niger, Syria, Mexico and other countries including Lebanon where a United Nations agency was a client.


Old Baileyの陪審はSomersetのTaunton近くに住むJim McCormick(57)を、ノベルティゴルフボールファインダーに基づくデバイスをイラクに販売して5500万ポンドを得た詐欺事件など3件について有罪と判定した。それらは、自動車爆弾や自爆テロ犯が通過するBaghdadの検問所に配備され、数百人の市民を死なせた。イラクの首都では、まだ先月も検問所で使われていた。


[Robert Booth and Meirion Jones: "UK businessman found guilty of selling fake bomb detectors to Iraq" (2013/04/23) on The Guardian via nofrills]
On 19 March this year, the tenth anniversary of George W Bush's declaration of war against Iraq, I was heading into Baghdad's ministry of the interior in search of an official from the inspector general's office who had been involved in the investigation into its purchase of fake bomb detectors.

Arriving at the entrance, a bomb – the first of 12 to explode in the city that day – detonated about a kilometre away.

The officer on the gate explained a few minutes later that just the day before two improvised explosive devices had been found nearby. He asked what we were doing at the ministry. He nodded as I explained. "We know that the detectors are useless," he replied bitterly. "They're fakes. We've seen it on the news."

The officer, however, remained last month in a minority in doubting the effectiveness of devices which some had nicknamed the Magic Wand.

At almost every checkpoint I passed through inside Baghdad during my three-week visit, the device was still visibly in use. Ironically on 19 March a Magic Wand was being used to scan our car as we drove into Karrada an hour or so later when there was another explosion in the distance, sending up a pall of black smoke from a car bomb that had detonated outside a restaurant near the Green Zone, where three people would be killed.

2013年3月19日、George W Bushのイラクに対する宣戦布告10周年に、いんちき爆発物検知器の調達を調査している監察総監室の一員をさがして、私はBaghdadの内務省へと向かっていた。入口に着くと、その日に市中で爆発した12個の爆弾の1個目が1km彼方で爆発した。



3週間の訪問で、私が通過したBaghdad市内の、ほとんどすべての検問所で、この装置が使われていた。皮肉なことに、3月19日に、離れたところで別の爆弾が爆発してから1時間後に、Karradaに乗り入れようとした我々の車をこの装置がスキャンした。3人が死亡した、Green Zone近くのレストランの外で自動車爆弾の爆発から黒煙を立ち昇っていた。


But even as the trial was going on in London, officials in Iraq were still insisting that the devices worked.

"We know that a few of them are defective," said one official at the ministry of the interior who asked not to be named. "The other problem is how they are used. It requires the operator to be in the right frame of mind."


Photograph: SWNS.com

[Peter Beaumont: "Fake bomb detectors were being used in Iraq as recently as last month" (2013/04/23) on The Guardian]



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