Jan 292011
 

"this equipment does not detect explosives" say experts

MAC’s flabber is rarely gasted but the latest edition of the BBC’s Newnight programme got close to doing that. Not only is the UK government still permitting the export of fraudulent, non-functioning explosives and drugs detectors which are promoted for use in ports but lent the name of the Royal Engineers to sell them.

Upfront, here’s how to detect a fraudulent bomb detector: it will have a telescopic radio aerial on a swivel.

If you see something answering that description in your travels alert MAC.

Hundreds of people in Iraq and several in Thailand are believed to have been killed because the devices cannot detect explosives.

The devices cost £11 to make, around $15 and then they are sold for £15,000 each, about $21,000.

The retired Colonel who sells them admits he wouldn’t use them in a life or death situation, perhaps not quite understanding what a bomb detector is actually supposed to do.

The British government has refused to ban the export of the devices except to Iraq and Afghanistan because of competition in the fraud industry from other countries.

Here’s a press release from the BBC about the latest Newsnight programme: Continue reading »

Dec 312010
 
image

A swivelling radio antenna? Probably a fake bomb detector

New

Download the free briefing for ship security officers and others with a security remit here.

The briefing provides the background to the devices and the hazards they present when used in a maritime/port security context, how to identify them and suggested responses when the devices are known to be in use.

SSO Briefing

Seafarers may lose their lives if fraudulent ‘bomb-detectors’ currently being marketed to gullible government security agencies and anti-terrorism companies are used to assess the presence or absence of explosives aboard ship. Ship security officers should learn to identify this class of equipment and be aware that it does not work, cannot detect what the makers claim it can detect,  and that any reliance on such equipment represents a hazard to the vessel, its crew and its cargo. Continue reading »