Thailand To Seek Compensation Over Bogus Bomb Betectors
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Thailand to Seek Compensation over Bogus Bomb Betectors



 13 Thai state agencies bought the GT200 and Alpha 6 devices

13 Thai state agencies bought the GT200 and Alpha 6 devices



BANGKOK – The Military Government of Thailand is now determining damages suffered from their purchase of bogus bomb detectors for possible legal action to claim compensation.

The move followed a British court ruling earlier this week to seize cash and assets worth 7.9 million pounds (about Bt395 million) from British businessman James McCormick. He is serving a 10-year jail term for making bogus bomb detectors.

In 2013, the businessman was jailed for his role in selling “GT200” bomb detectors and “Alpha 6” narcotic detectors to governments around the world.


As many as 13 Thai state agencies bought the GT200 and Alpha 6 devices, including the Army, Royal Thai Police, Central Institute of Forensic Science, and Customs Department. They bought a total of 1,358 such devices for Bt1.13 billion.

McCormick is thought to have made 50 million pounds from sales of the fake devices.

On Wednesday, the UK court ordered seizure of McCormick’s cash, properties and other assets. The court also ordered that some of that money should be paid as compensation to nations around the world that bought the bogus devices.

The detectors were reportedly modified from a 14-pound (Bt700) golf ball detector and sold to security agencies around the world at about 3,500 pounds (Bt175,000) each.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan yesterday commented that the UK court had just passed the ruling. He said related agencies would need time to consider what they could do to protect the country’s interest.

Prawit said the GT200 devices had been bought by a previous government but had not been deployed anywhere.

Meanwhile, Defence Ministry spokesman Maj-General Kongcheep Tantrawanich said relevant agencies may need to discuss the issue first, joined by Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, who may be asked to provide legal advice.

Government Spokesperson Maj-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the government needed to look through legislation of what it could do beforehand.

Sansern and Kongcheep did not confirm which governmental agencies still possessed the fake detectors, but said they were not used any longer as they were found to be useless.

Sansern in the past had defended the GT200 detector. As Army spokesman, in 2010, he had said the machine was practical as it generated a magnetic field to detect certain substances when a card was inserted in the machine’s slot.

By Wasamon Audjarint – The Nation
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