UK warns world about useless 'bomb detectors' : BBC
A UK government will now be urgently warning all governments who may have bought devices such as the ADE651 and GT200 as they are "wholly ineffective" at detecting bombs and explosives, the British Foreign Office has told the BBC.
The ADE651 is made by a company from Somerset called ATSC. The director of the company, Jim McCormick, was arrested at the beginning of this month on suspicion of misrepresentation.
The GT200 which has been used in deep southern provinces of Thailand is sold by Global Technical in Kent.
The UK government has banned the export of "magic wand" bomb detectors to Iraq and Afghanistan becomes effective on 27 January.
The restriction is being imposed following a BBC Newsnight investigation which showed that the supposed detectors were incapable of detecting explosives or anything else.
There are concerns that they have failed to stop bomb attacks which have killed hundreds of people.
Thailand is not covered by the UK ban. Their MPs are calling for the withdrawal of 500 GT200 detectors after a number of deaths were blamed on their failure to find explosives.
Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban has tried to reassure MPs that the GT200 is not like the ADE651: "We use a different brand," he said.
Despite advice from the British embassy in Baghdad, the ADE651 is still in use on checkpoints in Iraq, while an investigation ordered by the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continues.
In Pakistan, which is not covered by Britain's export ban, rows have broken out after newspapers highlighted the continued use of similar devices at Jinnah International Airport in Islamabad.
The devices are also in use in Mexico, Kenya, Lebanon, Jordan and China.
Newsnight obtained a GT200 that was sold as a bomb detector and discovered that it was almost identical to the ADE651.
It consists of an aerial on a handle connected to a black box into which you are supposed to insert substance detection cards.
The head of Global Technical, Gary Bolton, told Newsnight: "There are no electronic parts required in the handle."
[color:red]Explosives expert Sidney Alford took apart the "black box" of the GT200, which is supposed to receive signals from the detection cards. He was surprised at what he found.
"Speaking as a professional, I would say that is an empty plastic case," he told us.[/color]
Alford also took apart a "detection card" and found there was nothing in it other than card and paper.
Gary Bolton from Global Technical told the BBC that the lack of electronic parts "does not mean it does not operate to the specification".