(Thanks to a wire service report)

(Pic: No batteries! So if this man’s not fit- its f**ked’
 Former P.M . – Abhisit)

It’s happened again. And it will happen again. Thailand was sold a pup and it now has egg on its face but nobody is going to take the blame. 

The British millionaire James McCormick, 56, who marketed the fake human powered bomb detecting device the ADE651, has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of three cases of fraud.

McCormick made £50 million selling a novelty golf ball finding machine worth less than US$20 to military forces as bomb detectors – in fact all purposes detectors. 

At first he simply attached stickers bearing the words ‘International Association of Bomb Technicians’ to the golf ball finders to make them look authentic.

His ‘improved’ version the ADE751 could even detect drugs, it was claimed. He sold them to the Thai Border Patrol Police with card inserted which could allegedly detect heroin.


The whole world has known these machines were a total con for years. They come under different names, for instance the GT200 – very popular in Thailand, and the Alpha 6, also sold here.  But it has taken a court in Britain to finally judge the lie.

So why have these alleged bomb detecting machines been selling so well in Third World countries – if I can still call Thailand Third World?

The answer is under counter payments made to the buyers.

According to the Independent McCormick claims that he only got £12 million out of the $75 million paid out by the Iraqi government. 

He may be lying about the size of his cut, just one invoice was for $38 million, but there is little doubt that massive amounts were paid out in bribes.

Even so, sad to say Dr. Pornthip Rojanasun Thailand’s premier pathologist and crime scenes investigator was also taken in by the GT200 and supervised its use to detect bombs and bomb making equipment in insurgency struck southern Thailand.


In London Richard Whittam QC, prosecuting McCormick, said fantastic claims were made that the detectors could find substances from planes, under water, under ground and through walls.

They claimed to be able to bypass “all known forms of concealment” and be able to detect at distance.
Items could be detected up to 0.6 miles underground, up to 3 miles from the air and 100ft underwater, it was said.

The GT could find its alleged methyl nitrate,potassium chlorate, dynamite, plastic explosive, TNT, uranium acetate
all by using little plastic card fitted into the machine. The plastic cards contained nothing

But Mr Whittam added:

“The devices did not work and he knew they did not work. 

“He had them manufactured so that they could be sold – and despite the fact they did not work, people bought them for a handsome but unwarranted profit. 

Military would have got better deal here

“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 devices that were sold were expensive. There was no fixed price but the ADE 651 could be sold for as much as 40,000 US dollars.” 

Experts said the ADE 651 “lacks any grounding in science, nor does it work in accordance with the known laws of physics … completely ineffectual as a piece of detection equipment”.
It was no better than trying to detect explosives at random, said Mr Whittam. 

The devices were sold by McCormick and his companies along with training and “sensor cards”, the court heard. 

Mr Whittam told the jury McCormick bought 300 Golfinder novelty machines for finding golf balls from the US between 2005 and 2006.

It was advertised as a”great novelty item” which used the customer’s body to “energise its actions”

The forerunner of the 101 model, the 100 “was actually a golf ball finder that could be purchased in the USA for less than 20 US dollars”.

This is what we said – way  back when and also this and this. That’s because of the wishy washy way the Thai English language press dealt with the issue at the time – but at least they showed they were not kidding the Thai people.


Then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s hilarious explanation. At the time he was unsure of the GT200 machines which, like the ADE651,  worked not on batteries but human static and that of course depended on the physical condition of the operator, ahem. If the operator was tired, well perhaps the bomb could not be detected. He said the Office of the Narcotics Control Board wanted to go with battery operated ones.
You can make it up! Watch below.

From wikipedia”

The GT200 is a fraudulent[1] “remote substance detector” that is claimed by its manufacturer, UK-based Global Technical Ltd, to be able to detect from a distance various substances including explosives and drugs. The GT200 and its many iterations (SniffexADE651HEDD1) have been sold to a number of countries for a cost of up to £22,000 ($36,000) per unit, but the devices have been criticised as little more than a “divining rod” which lack any scientific explanation for why it should work.[1][2]

The GT200 is used extensively in Thailand.[27] Reportedly, some 818 GT200 units were procured by Thai public bodies since 2004. These include 535 bought by the Royal Thai Army for use combating the South Thailand insurgency and another 222 for use in other areas, 50 purchased by the Royal Thai Police for use in Police Region 4 (Khon Kaen), 6 bought by the Central Institute of Forensic Science, 6 by the Customs Department, 4 by the Royal Thai Air Force and 1 by Chai Nat police.[28] Other agencies such as the Border Patrol Police Bureau and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board use a similar device, the Alpha 6, procured from another company.[27] According to the Bangkok Post, the Royal Thai Air Force first procured the GT200 to detect explosives and drugs at airports, followed by the army in 2006.[29] According to Lt Gen Daopong Rattansuwan, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Royal Thai Army, each GT200 bought by the army cost 900,000 baht (£17,000/$27,000), rising to 1.2 million baht (£22,000/$36,000) if 21 “sensor cards” were included with it.[27] In total, Thailand’s government and security forces have spent between 800–900 million baht ($21 million) on the devices.[7]

And wiki today about the ADE651

The ADE 651 is a fake bomb detector[1] produced by ATSC (UK), which claimed the device could detect from a distance the presence and location of various types of explosives, drugs, and other substances. The device has been sold to a number of countries in the Middle and Far East, including Iraq, for as much as $60,000 per unit. The Iraqi government is said to have spent £52m ($85m) on the devices.[2]Investigations by the BBC and other organisations found that the device is little more than a “glorified dowsing rod” with no ability to perform its claimed functions. In January 2010, export of the device to Iraq and Afghanistan was banned by the British Government and the managing director of ATSC was arrested on suspicion of fraud,[3] and in June 2010 several other companies were raided by British police.[4] ATSC was dissolved on 5 March 2013.[5] On 23 April 2013, the businessman behind the device, James McCormick, was convicted of three counts of fraud at the Old Bailey in London.[6]

The use of the device by Iraqi and Pakistani security forces has become a major international controversy. The virtually identical GT200and Alpha 6 devices, which are widely used in Thailand, have also come under scrutiny in the wake of the revelations about the ADE 651.[7]


  1. As Thais never tire of saying; 'buyer beware"

    Caught in their own petard. Perhaps their culture cons them into thinking no other nationality is so good at cheating.

    Sorry they've lost face.

  2. He'll do about 1 or 2 years in jail and come out to enjoy the 15 Million pounds he laundered through offshore banks, actually, I wish I had thought of it first.

  3. He will not be even remotely punished as befits his crime. The UK will soon approximate Thailand for mindless dog-eat-dog free market scofflawism. Where we used to have rule-of-law One Nation tories, we now have a bunch of law-of-the-jungle brain-dead nitwits. The supposedly pugnacious Daily Mail (as always)totally deludes itself that it is breathing down McCormick's neck. (Not that we really expect the DM to take any real action. In a society that no longer has any effective watchdogs, the DM is just another toothless Pekinese – lots of noisy yapping and gummy ankle-nipping, but a gutless vacuum of nothingness for brains.)

    If McCormick had chosen to live/stay here, he would never have even looked at a courtroom. Some of those in denial here have undoubtedly either been sharing in the proceeds, or are just guilty of the usual get-rich-kwik "mai bpen rai" stupidity.

  4. He told the Thai's it was all based on black magic, sorcery, astronomers and good lottery numbers.

    They rushed the orders through.

    Great to see, I think he should get a medal, outstanding achievement.

  5. A toy golf ball finder passed off as a sophisticated bomb detector. This guy must have had more face than Big Ben. The Thais as usual paid top dollar and bought up a few truck loads of these. Oh that's right, this guy paid big bribes to the people who brokered the deal. Buying overpriced gear with Government money and also taking a backhander for ripping your own country off is a Thai national pastime. A friend of mine worked at the new airport and quit in disgust. He estimated out of every 1000 baht the government spent, 700 went into private pockets. It's really tragic when you think of how many schools or hospitals could be built with the money that is most likely just sitting in banks in Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland. I really hope some hacker gets into the banks files one day so we can see just how much these parasites have stolen from the public.

  6. Three members of a border patrol police unit were killed on 7 November 2008 in Panare district when the GT 200 they were using failed to detect a bomb planted on a road. In Muang district of Yala Province, security forces used a GT 200 to investigate the scene of the murder of two officials but were unable to detect a follow-up boobytrap bomb, which exploded just after they had declared the area to be clear of bombs.

    Numerous people were killed and injured in two bomb attacks in October 2009 in which the GT 200 was used by security forces. On 6 October 2009, a car bomb exploded opposite the Merlin Hotel in Sungai Kolok, killing one person and injuring 20, after it had been "scanned" using a GT 200 and declared to be free of explosives. A motorcycle bomb exploded on 19 October in Yala, injuring another 26 people, again after a scan with a GT 200 had returned negative results for explosives.

    Hundreds are said to have been detained by Thai security forces on the basis of GT 200 readings. According to Human Rights Watch, about 10% of those detained on suspicion of involvement in the insurgency have been arrested on this basis. In one village in Narathiwat province, 32 people were arrested after GT 200s were used to "detect" traces of explosive substances on their bodies. Most of them were detained without charge for an extended period. Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch commented: "It is common during security sweeps in the south to see Muslim men lined up on the roadside with their shirts off while being screened by a GT 200. Many of those implicated by the GT 200 have been arrested and then tortured.

    1. Excellent comment and too close to the bone for many of the hand-wringing apologists. I had a similar post removed from Thai Visa as it was deemed too negative as "other countries had purchased the bomb scanners also."

    2. That's rather hypocritical. I agree about Thaivisa but please don't cast Farangtalk as being whiter than white. You remove posts as readily as the other forums when it suits you

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