Des policiers belges, l'ONU et l'armée américaine confondent des détecteurs de drogue avec des détecteurs de balle de golf
Des policiers belges confondent des détecteurs de drogue avec des détecteurs de balle de golf
On dit que plus un mensonge est gros, et mieux il passe. Cet arnaqueur anglais, Jim McCormick, l'a prouvé en vendant des appareils de détection qui valaient 13 euros pour plus de 20 000 euros, et pas à n'importe qui : à l'ONU, à l'armée américaine et à la police belge. Il leur a fait croire que ses appareils pouvaient détecter la drogue, les bombes et même les cadavres. Le chef de zone de la police de Courcelles-Fontaine-l'Evêque a expliqué : "Très vite, on a vu qu'on n'obtenait pas les résultats espérés". L'arnaque remonte à 2008, et le procès est en cours d'après le journal anglais Mirror. Comme quoi même les mensonges énormes marchent, pas seulement
British businessman 'sold golf ball finders as bogus bomb detectors'
8 Mar 2013 01:47
He allegedly charged up to £27,000 for the fake devices, which he flogged to governments, police and military services
A British businessman conned governments around the world by selling them useless bomb detectors that were little more than golf ball finders, a jury heard yesterday.
Jim McCormick allegedly charged up to £27,000 for the fake devices, which he also flogged to police and military services for a “handsome but unwarranted profit”.
Brochures – featuring men in military-type outfits – promised the detection of substances from planes, beyond walls and even beneath the ground, said prosecutor Richard Whittam, QC.
But all three models – the ADE650, 651 and 101 – were a sham and did not work, he added.
In fact the 101’s forerunner, the 100, was just a £13 golf ball finder.
The gadgets were allegedly touted as suitable for use at military bases, Customs checkpoints and nuclear sites.
They were said to be capable of finding traces of drugs, ivory, bodies and contraband in quantities smaller than a human hair.
The Old Bailey jury heard that McCormick, 56, had claimed the detector could “bypass all concealment methods” and find targets through walls, underwater and up to 30ft underground.
But Mr Whittam said the machines lacked “any grounding in science” and offered no advantage over “random chance”.
Device: The ADE651
McCormick allegedly offered three different devices for sale through his Broadcast and Telecom Ltd and ATSC firms between 2007 and 2012.
They were marketed as the ADE – Advanced Detection Equipment – models 101, 650 and 651 and were based on an earlier version called the ADE100.
Mr Whittam told the jury: “You may not be surprised that rather than being designed and made as a result of an extensive research and development programme, the ADE100 was actually a golf ball finder that could be purchased in the USA for less than $20.
“The devices did not work and he knew they didn’t. He had them manufactured so they could be sold – and despite the fact they did not work, people bought them for a handsome but unwarranted profit.
“He made them knowing that they were going to be sold as something that it was claimed was simply fantastic.
"You may think those claims are incredible.”
The court heard that McCormick imported 300 Golfinder novelty golf ball locating machines from the USA between 2005 and 2006 before modifying them to sell as bomb detectors.
He sold his bogus devices to the Iraqi police and had clients in Niger, Georgia, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, the jury heard.
The prosecution said experts who examined the 651 detector found: “It lacks any grounding in science, nor does it work in accordance with the known laws of physics.
"The ADE651 is completely ineffectual as a piece of detection equipment.”
Hand-held: The gadget demo
At least one buyer raised concerns about the devices, which were labelled with stickers from the Essex Chamber of Commerce and the International Association of Bomb Technicians.
McCormick began developing the larger ADE650 model in 2005 and enlisted design consultancy Blue MT to make it look more professional, the jury heard.
The Surrey firm’s director William Powell said McCormick claimed it worked by static electricity.
“We were curious to know what he meant by saying it detected things,” said Mr Powell.
“He gave a demonstration of it detecting water in the building and pipes buried in walls while we were having a meeting.
“Part of the device had been in his pocket. He took it out and was rubbing it on his leg vigorously.
"He explained that was to charge it statically to make it operate.
"But he didn’t really want to tell us about the plastic card that went in. He called it the secret bit that had the magic in it.”
It was alleged that when Mr Powell later opened the unit, he found a single circuit board unconnected to anything and with no components soldered on.
Jonathan Laidlaw, QC, defending, said McCormick could not recall such a demonstration.
The jury, who were shown pictures of a device and brochure, heard that police raided a property belonging to McCormick at Bath, Somerset, in 2010 and also searched his home in Langport.
McCormick pleads not guilty to three charges of fraud. The trial continues today.