Makers of the plastic gadget sold as a bomb detector called Alpha 6 are the latest in a string of fraudsters to face punishment for their greedy game that cost lives in war zones.
Samuel Tree, 68, was sentenced to three and a half years while his wife Joan, 62, received 300 hours community work.
Their plastic Alpha 6 cost just a few pounds but sold for thousands.
The couple are the last of a group of fraudsters – who marketed their devices to governments and conflict zones around the world – to be jailed.
The Trees were found guilty at the Old Bailey in August of making an article for use in a fraud between January 2007 and July 2012.
Sentencing them at London’s Kingston Crown Court on Friday, judge Richard Marks QC described the scam as “a bizarre and fantastic proposition as to be almost akin to something out of Alice in Wonderland”.
The police said the scam netted the couple around 2 million pounds. An investigation found that the Egyptian government had ordered one million of the devices as well as Thailand.
A comprehensive history of the hoax devices is posted on BBC. BBC News – The story of the fake bomb detectors.
The plastic devices were tested and found to be nothing but outrageously overprices dowsing devices that did not detect ANY explosive or drugs or disease. At least we can note that the devices were excellent at detecting incredibly poor judgement and government corruption. Unfortunately, the devices are still in use by border patrols and in sensitive security areas by those that still believe they do something or serve to deter criminals.