Tuesday, March 16, 2010

UK Warns Mexico Against Using Scam Bomb Detector

A few months ago the British government took action against a corporation that has been selling a notorious scam bomb detector known variously as the GT 200, the ADE 651, the Sniffex and the MOLE. Now the British are attempting to warn the Mexican government against using the ridiculous devices, which their military and police forces have purchased by the hundreds at the price of $20,000 each.

Good luck to the Brits. The U.S. government has so far been unable to convince the Iraqi government to stop using the thousands of GT 200s it purchased for $85 million. Evidently, the snake oil used to sell these things is particularly long-lasting and the victim doesn't come to his senses for years, if ever.

For their $20K, the Mexicans get nothing but an empty plastic box connected to an antenna and programmed with a deck of ordinary plastic cards. Really. That's all. See here and here for U.S. government test reports that document the bald-faced fraud that is the GT 200, ADE 651, et al.

From today's New York Times:

The British government has notified Mexico that a handheld device widely used by the Mexican military and police to search for drugs and explosives may be ineffective, British officials said. [TSB note: "may" be ineffective? That's British understatement. There's no maybe about it.]

Mexico’s National Defense Secretariat has spent more than $10 million to purchase hundreds of the detectors, similar to the “magic wands” in use in Iraq and Afghanistan, for its antidrug fight. Although critics have called them nothing more than divining rods, Mexican defense officials praise the devices as a critical part of their efforts to combat drug traffickers. At the military’s National Drug Museum, one of the devices is on display, with a plaque that describes its success in finding hidden caches of drugs.

-- snip --

As of April 20, 2009, the army had purchased 521 of the GT 200 detectors for just over $20,000 apiece, for a total cost of more than $10 million, according to Mexican government documents. Police agencies across Mexico have made additional purchases, records show.

“We’ve had success with it,” Capt. Jesús Héctor Larios Salazar, an officer with the Mexican Army’s antidrug unit in Culiacán, said recently. “It works with molecules. It functions with the energy of the body.”

Molecules? That quote must be a translation error. I think Captain Larios meant to say it works with magic, and it functions with the energy supplied by a body of money. Captain, please open your eyes. The only ones who have ever had any success with the GT 200 are the gringos who sold them to you.

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