Saudi, Bahrain among customers of UK fraudster

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
Businessman James McCormick arrives at the Old Bailey in London, England. (Getty Images)

Businessman James McCormick arrives at the Old Bailey in London, England. (Getty Images)

A British businessman has been convicted of fraud after making millions of dollars selling fake bomb-detection equipment to countries including Gulf states.

James McCormick made an estimated $76m from sales of his detectors to countries including Iraq, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

McCormick manufactured and sold the hand-held "ADE 651" devices to countries at serious risk from bombings, claiming they could detect explosives, drugs and other substances.

But London's Old Bailey court was told the detectors had no working components, lacked any basis in science and did not work in accordance with the known laws of physics.

Detective Superintendent Nigel Rock, senior investigating officer at Avon and Somerset Police, said: "There was no evidence demonstrated, that McCormick or his company - ATSC UK - conducted any proper research or development into the products manufactured.

"He sold his detection devices to many governments, defence agencies and private institutions around the world. A large proportion of these were countries where there was and still remains a real risk of terrorism and criminality.

"McCormick showed a complete disregard for the safety of those that used and relied upon the device for their own security and protection. He amassed many millions of pounds through his greed and criminal enterprise."

Britain's Press Association quoted prosecutors as saying the detectors were based on a novelty machine for finding golf balls which could be bought in the United States for under $20.

During his trial, McCormick also said he had sold his detectors to police in Kenya, the prison service in Hong Kong, the army in Egypt and border control in Thailand. Iraq bought 6,000 devices at a cost in excess of $40m.

McCormick said he had had no negative reports from customers. He will be sentenced next month.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Ronald

The bribes this guy must have paid to corrupt military, particularly in Thailand where the Army pretended they worked!
How many millions went into brown envelopes for generals in Thailand, Iraq and elsewhere might never be known, but the trial and conviction have exposed how murky the armaments industry is.

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
An Instagram photo is worth a thousand words

An Instagram photo is worth a thousand words

Instagram has become the social media platform of choice for...

Fear and roaming in the Gulf

Fear and roaming in the Gulf

The Gulf’s telecommunications giants are once more pushing ahead...

The art of the online video

The art of the online video

As online marketing continues to grow in prominence and importance...

Most Discussed
  • 54
    Three UAE women attacked with hammer at London hotel

    I really feel that Arabian Business.Com should now close this comments page. This should be all about sympathy for the families not what it is/has turned... more

    Wednesday, 16 April 2014 1:06 PM - Adrienne
  • 51
    Why Dubai isn't a plastic city

    What is definitely not a plastic city. The Arabs have a culture dating back to several centuries. 50 years back Dubai was just a fishing village. Today... more

    Tuesday, 8 April 2014 3:49 PM - P. MADHUSUDAN
  • 48
    DMCC boss Ahmed Bin Sulayem entertains Robert Mugabe in Dubai

    @fga ''However today, simply because he decided to dispossess a few white farmers of their land and redistribute to the poorer indigenous blacks'' more

    Sunday, 13 April 2014 3:02 PM - Matt Williams