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UK Man Jailed for Selling Fake Bomb Detectors - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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British business man James McCormick (C) arrives for sentencing at the Old Bailey in London, Britain, on May 2, 2013. He was earlier found guilty at the Old Bailey for selling fake bomb detectors. (EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA)

British business man James McCormick (C) arrives for sentencing at the Old Bailey in London, Britain, on May 2, 2013. He was earlier found guilty at the Old Bailey for selling fake bomb detectors. (EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA)

London, AP—A British judge on Thursday sentenced a businessman who sold fake bomb detectors to 10 years in jail, saying the millionaire had shown a cavalier disregard for potentially fatal consequences.

James McCormick made an estimated GBP 50 million from the sales of his non-working detectors—which were based on a novelty golf ball finder—to countries including Iraq, Belgium and Niger.

McCormick, 57, was convicted of three counts of fraud last month and sentenced Thursday at the Old Bailey court in London, where Judge Richard Hone called his profits from a “callous confidence trick” obscene and outrageous.

“Your fraudulent conduct in selling so many useless devices for simply enormous profit promoted a false sense of security and in all probability materially contributed to causing death and injury to innocent individuals,” Hone told McCormick. “You have neither insight, shame or any sense of remorse.”

Prosecutor Richard Whittam said the devices, which sold for up to GBP 27,000 pounds each, claimed to be able to find explosives and drugs under water and from the air. He said that, in fact, they “lacked any grounding in science” and were no better than trying to detect explosives at random.

McCormick, a former policeman and salesman, had told the court he sold his detectors to police in Kenya, the prison service in Hong Kong, the army in Egypt and border control in Thailand.

“I never had any negative results from customers,” he said.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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