Remember the ADE-651? The bomb detector that could “detect elephants, humans and 100 dollar bills”? It now appears that British army personnel and civil servants were involved in the effort to sell the bogus device:
The government has admitted that the Army and UK civil servants helped market so-called “bomb detectors”, which did not work, around the world.
Export of the “magic wand” detectors to Iraq and Afghanistan was banned on 27 January 2010 because of the threat they posed to British and allied troops.
The move followed a BBC Newsnight investigation showing they could not detect explosives — or anything else.
Now Newsnight has learned that they are still being sold around the globe.
You can understand the attraction to potential scammers, as the things cost £11 to make (at most) and can be sold for £15,000 to unsuspecting dupes (or willing accomplices, splitting the profits) representing foreign governments.