Jul 122012
 

Scientists and senators discuss the GT200 in Mexico

After a two and a half year investigation by the City of London Police’s Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit, OACU, Gary Bolton, CEO of Global Technical, which  supplied the GT200 explosives and drugs detector to ports and petrochemicals facilities in Mexico and security agencies elsewhere, has been charged under sections 2 and 7 of the Fraud Act 2006 for dishonestly representing the device as capable of detecting explosives.

The GT200 and similar device conclusively demonstrated not to work have been sold to Pemex and the Mexican Navy as well as to security forces in Pakistan, where it is used in airports, India, China, Thailand and allegedly Belgium.

MAC has produced a briefing paper for Ship Security Officers to help identify these non-working devices.

Bolton’s arrest is one of several following investigations by the City of London Police and Avon and Somerset Constabulary with advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.

Others arrested include James McCormick of ATSC Ltd with three counts contrary to section 6 and three counts contrary to section 7 of the Fraud Act 2006, relating to three devices, known as ‘ADE 101’, ‘ADE 650’ and ‘ADE 651’, Samuel Tree, Joan Tree, and Simon Sherrard charged with one count contrary to Section 7 of the Fraud Act 2006, involving an ‘Alpha 6’ substance detection device. Anthony Williamson faces the same charge in relation to an ‘XK9’ device.

Most of the devices have been sold to countries where corruption is endemic and despite overwhelming evidence of their ineffectiveness as well as warning from the British government which had helped promote the devices, sales have continued.

Although the arrests in the UK may stop the fraudulent devices being exported from there, similar devices such as the HEDD1 are being sold from Germany as well as pirated copies from China and Korea.

For further background:

Ouji Board Wands Still Used By Pemex/Mexican Navy Against Terrorists

Beware These Bunkum Bomb Detectors

Bogus Bomb Detector Update: BBC Reveals Royal Engineer Role

Beware Fake Bomb Detectors

See Also:

‘Bomb detector’ maker Jim McCormick faces fraud charges

Five more charged over ‘bogus’ bomb detectors

Sep 082011
 

A day when seafarers were heroes, too

It was the greatest criminal act in history. A day that created heroes among them the US merchant marine who evacuated hundreds of thousands of people from Lower Manhattan after the 11 September, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Their story is told a new video released  by the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. Rescue at Water’s Edge includes interviews with vessel operators, emergency responders and passengers.

“The story of merchant mariners coming to the aid of those in need on September 11, 2001 is an inspiring one,” says US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “On that terrible day, our nation’s seafarers, with courage and selflessness, transported hundreds of thousands of people out of harm’s way to safety.”

Continue reading »

May 302011
 

handcuffsCriminal charges have been filed against Americas Marine Management Services, Inc with pollution on the Miami River. If found guilty the firm could face $500,000 in fines and five years probation.

The formal announcement says: “Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Rear Admiral William D. Baumgartner, Commander, 7th Coast Guard District, and John Sall, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, announced the filing of a criminal Information charging defendant Americas Marine Management Services, Inc., d/b/a Antillean Marine, a Miami corporation, with one count of oil pollution, in violation of Title 33, United States Code, Section 1908(a); one count of failure to maintain an accurate Oil Record Book, in violation of Title 33, United States Code, Section 1908(a); and one count of failing to submit reports to the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse, in violation of Title 16, United States Code, Section 4711(g)(2). If convicted, the defendant corporation faces a fine of up to $500,000 per count and up to five years of probation.

According to the allegations in the Information, Americas Marine Management Services operated the TITAN EXPRESS from a terminal on the Miami River. On or about July 9, 2010, the crew of the TITAN EXPRESS discharged oily waste into U.S. water knowing that its pollution prevention equipment was not working. The crew of the TITAN EXPRESS further kept fictitious records about the management of the ship’s oily waste.

The Information also alleges that Americas Marine Management Services failed to submit a report to the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse in advance of the TITAN EXPRESS’ arrival at the Port of Miami. The National Ballast Information Clearinghouse is a joint program of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and the United States Coast Guard. Its mandate is to understand and prevent the introduction of non-indigenous species to the fresh, brackish, and saltwater environments of the United States.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Services. This case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime Raich.

An Information is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Dec 202010
 
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imageThe International Group says that it: “supports efforts by all countries to prevent vessels being used to smuggle illegal narcotics. However, the International Group has become increasingly concerned with what appears to be the indiscriminate and disproportionate application of criminal law in Venezuela in cases where vessels have been targeted by drug smugglers for the carriage of illegal narcotics.

“New legislation to regulate the investigation and potential prosecution of shipowners and crews in such circumstances recently entered into force on 21 October 2010.   The “Organic Drugs Law” (“ODL”), repealed earlier laws and appears to increase the evidential burden and potential penalties imposed on shipowners and their crews.

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Sep 302010
 
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image MAC has referred to failings of Ship Security Alert Systems before, now the US Coast Guard strongly recommends that owners, operators and others involved with the technical examination and testing of a Ship Security Alert System, SSAS, “fully understand the critical nature and importance of this system”.

An SSAS must be serviced and maintained in order to be fully operational in the event of an emergency. Safety of Life at Sea, SOLAS, Chapter XI-2/6 mandates the carriage of shipboard equipment for sending covert alerts indicating the security of the ship in under threat or has been compromised, such as piracy, terrorism or armed robbery.

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Jan 252010
 
Sir Mark Stanhope – a shot across the bows

Britain’s National Anthem urges “Britannia Rule The Waves”, a sentiment that rose to fulfillment in the Victorian era with the global primacy of the Royal Navy. Margaret Thatcher’s ‘return to Victorian values’ did not include maintaining sea power and cuts by her government, and those that followed, have threatened to turn the Senior Service into the Senile Service.

More cuts are expected to be recommended in an upcoming Defence Review. Already, many Royal Navy sailors see themselves as a brown water – coastal – navy.

It isn’t a matter of projecting national power and prestige, the cuts threaten the prime function of any navy: to protect its nation’s commerce.

In an unprecedented move, Britain’s First Sea Lord, Sir Mark Stanhope, has stood up to warn against the browning of Britain’s blue water fleet.

MAC’s UK correspondent William Redmond has the story:

Crown copyright MOD/2010.

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Aug 152009
 

Reports regarding the Arctic Sea are positively Newtonian: for each report there is an equal and opposite report. She was reported in Spain, then Spanish authorities denied the claim. She was reported off the Cape Verde Islands then Russian diplomats and Portuguese authorities said she wasn’t. An AIS signal in the Bay of Biscay signalled her presence, or maybe not because there was no evidence the transmission came from equipment on the ship,the Russian naval officials said it was from a Russian Navy vessel, which raises more questions than it answers.

Now it is reported that ransom demands have been made to the shipowner but, again, there has been no ‘proof of life’ -  a necessary element for a credible ransom demand and until that is given the ransom demands are meaningless.

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Aug 102009
 

Russian navy ships, the Federal Security Service and Interpol are looking for Arctic Sea, a 4,000 tonnes general cargo ship, managed by Oy Solchart, which vanished after apparently entering the English channel from the North Sea on 29 July. No contact has been made with her and there is speculation that the vessel carrying almost $2m worth of timber from Finland has been hijacked or taken by its Russian crew of 15. Continue reading »