Bogus bomb detector dealer jailed

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.

BBC News – Fake bomb detector husband jailed for three years.

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.

Previously, makers of similar devices, the ADE 651 – Jim McCormick and GT-200 – Gary Bolton were found guilty of fraud and sentenced to multiple years in prison. Both had their appeals denied.

  9 comments for “Bogus bomb detector dealer jailed

  1. Peebs
    October 3, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    These people make me ashamed to be English.
    I know too many people injured by IED’s.

  2. Cimpy
    October 3, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    At least, these met prison -would be better before than after, of course.

    A lot of scammers (in health area, for example,but not only there) are still free to spread their false miracles that would prevent people from follow right streets…

  3. Bill T.
    October 3, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    Well, Peebs, I get the distinct impression that the English have no monopoly on scum-sucking low-lifes. In fact, I believe there are a few who don’t live in the U.K. even.

    I note that the U. K. justiciary are given these folks a bit of down-time to reflect on their misdeeds, which is heartening.

  4. Tom
    October 4, 2014 at 3:09 AM

    We must hope that (along with the other criminals involved in this widespread scam) when this couple finish their UK sentences there will be nice extradition requests awaiting them issued by Governments that bought these devices in good faith.

  5. kiljoy616
    October 4, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Best news I have heard lately. To bad it was not longer but at least its something. Still not like they will not go back to doing another scam as soon as they get out. These people never stop.

  6. Stuart
    October 5, 2014 at 3:54 AM

    i don’t understand this, why are in prison? the MOD has people to test this sort of stuff don’t they? without doing the science, this story will only repeat it self. the lazy and incompetent tossers at the defence procurement have probably quietly retired or promoted to a senior position by now. all they need to do is a double blind test with some real explosives but without a detonator to prove the claim was a sham. it would have saved so many lives if they had some sceptics on the team.

  7. Peebs
    October 5, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    They were never bought by the MoD.

    They were bought by credulous/corrupt senior officers in mainly middle eastern countries.

  8. Peter Robinson
    October 6, 2014 at 5:47 AM

    Hi Peebs,

    You are quite right that we have no evidence that The MOD ever bought any of the variants made/sold by U.K. companies (although the U.S. Navy did apparently buy 6 Sniffex at one stage, and have never properly explained why and how – we also have information that U.S. Security Services may have bought more, but sadly no details).

    As you say, most of the sales of ADE651, GT200 and Alpha 6 were to Middle East, Mexico, Thailand, African countries, and markets where purchasing controls are weaker, and/or corruption rife.

    However, we do know that M.O.D., Foreign Office and Royal Engineers were involved in helping to promote the Mole and Gt200 variants made and sole by Gary Bolton of Global Technical. He was sentenced last year to a 7 stretch.

    There are serious questions as to how this support came about, particularly after a report was circulated in Whitehall in 2001 which highlighted the fact that this type of ‘detector’ was garbage. See latest BBC report by Caroline Hawley which highlights this:

    You can find more history of the whole fake detectors scam at:


  9. Cimpy
    October 6, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    the U.S. Navy(…) U.S. Security Services (…) M.O.D., Foreign Office and Royal Engineers (…)
    Best scams have a lot of “noble” endorsements – you would be amazed by the number of garbage stuff apparently endorsed by NASA, for example, not to speak of DoD, even DoE, MIT and Universities all around the world…And you usually do not get any official answer when you ask to representative people of those Institutions – in case they would say they were never interested in, but usually you do not get an answer at all…

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