A businessman who sold a bomb-detecting device to 20 countries, including Iraq, has been charged with fraud, Avon and Somerset Police said.
Jim McCormick, 55, has been on bail for two-and-a-half years while police examined the sale of the device.
A BBC Newsnight investigation in 2010 showed the ADE-651 did not work and led to the British government banning its export to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tip: Tim Farley and Bruce Hood
For the entire story, see this new post by Professor Bruce Hood who was instrumental in bringing this shocking fraud case to justice.
In 2009, I was shocked to discover that a British company ATSC Ltd had been selling bomb-detecting devices to security forces around the world. The devices were nothing more than dowsing rods, a supernatural practice believed to reveal the location of water and minerals that has been around for hundreds of years. Despite the claims of various associations and practitioners, dowsing is nothing more than a psychological phenomena known as the “ideomotor effect.”
That was nearly two and a half years ago. In the meantime, ATSC Ltd continued to trade with other countries not covered by the ban including Mexico. It looked like all our efforts had been to no avail. However, in February this year, I was visited by detectives from the Avon & Somerset police and asked to give a statement. Yesterday I got a phone to say that Jim McCormick was due in court to face six counts of fraud. I await the outcome but sincerely hope that this is not considered a simple lapse of magical thinking when it comes to dowsing but an act of deliberate profiteering that has indirectly cost thousands of lives.
Do not miss his earlier post: How To Make A Killing With the Woo Bomb Detector. It will make you livid and will make this news today feel VERY satisfying.
Mr Jim McCormick, who generally does not return calls, is reported as saying, “We have been dealing with doubters for ten years. One of the problems we have is that the machine does look a little primitive. We are working on a new model that has flashing lights.”
More people being charged with fraud of these so-called bomb detectors
Five more people have been charged over an alleged scam involving the sale of phoney bomb detecting devices to governments around the world.
The charges came as the man behind the company which made the devices appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
In a related move, City of London Police on Thursday charged Gary Bolton; Samuel Tree; Joan Tree; Simon Sherrard and Anthony Williamson with various fraud charges relating to a variety of bomb detecting devices.
The five will appear before City Of London Magistrates’ Court on 18 July.