Given the extraordinary claims made by the unethical makers and sellers of fraudulent bomb detection equipment it would not be surprising to find one aboard ship somewhere. You may see them being used by security personnel at ports and airports to detect bombs, or in Africa to ˜detect” ivory poachers, there are different brands with one common element : they don’t work.
(If you have one on your ship, or have seen one being used in port, please let MAC know using our contact form.)
This may be relevant to the maritime industry in a number of ways: They may be used by port security personnel and others in certain parts of the world to determine the presence or absence of explosive devices in cargo or on persons. Be aware that no reliance whatsoever can be placed on the results. It is also possible that onboard security teams may use them or that a shipping company has bought some in the belief that they work.
Three brands have come in for particular notice, two made in the UK, the US Sniffex, the ADE651 and the GT200. They consist of an empty black plastic box, a telescopic antenna on a swivel and a piece of card sometimes known as a â€˜detector cardâ€™ which contains nothing more than cardboard and paper, although really high tech ones may have an RFID tag, the kind to stop your grannyâ€™s bloomers being filched from Marks & Sparks. They donâ€™t work, and canâ€™t work, which is why the UK government has now banned the export of this kind of device.
The US Navy has tested such devices and you can red the report here.