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Kenya Police: Our Fake Bomb Detectors Are Real 151

First time accepted submitter NF6X writes "Following the conviction of British conman James McCormick for selling fake bomb detectors which were in fact rebadged novelty golf ball divining rods, Nairobi police chief Benson Githinji stated to reporters that his department's fake bomb detectors are serviceable, and contributed towards a recent elimination of successful grenade attacks."
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Kenya Police: Our Fake Bomb Detectors Are Real

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  • Thailand too.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ShawnDoc ( 572959 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @01:42PM (#43559015) Homepage
    About 2 years ago, when it came to light these bomb detectors were totally fake, the Thai government, who has bought a whole bunch of these came out insisting they were real and worked. My hunch is there are no "real" portable bomb detectors (other than a trained dog), and government middle managers under pressure to buy bomb detectors bought the only thing on the market claiming to do that regardless of whether it worked or not. They knew it didn't work, but the politicians further up the chain didn't care, they just wanted to be able to say they'd purchased bomb detectors and people would be safe. Alternately, maybe James was just really good at structuring kickbacks and bribes to the decision makers. Its not like Thailand, Iraq or Kenya's governments are corruption free.
  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @01:55PM (#43559219) Journal
    I'm taking this story to mean that they've got these fake, non-functional bomb/drug/illicit substance detectors, and they know they're fake, but "officially" they work great, thus they use the fiction of their functionality to support their "finding" of said illicit substances, where in reality they used methods that otherwise would not be admissable in court; it's a con-job turned on it's head. I can't condone it, if I'm correct then they're completely corrupt, but it's still clever of them, if rather scary that any police force could be allowed to function that way.
  • by lxs ( 131946 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:17PM (#43559469)

    You know, about 15 years ago I worked in an electronics store. For an April fools joke I once stuck an antenna and an LED in a mains plug and put it in the shop window as a "wireless extension cord - 29.95" I got quite a few interested customers for this item. From what I have picked up from the coverage of the trial these devices are about as sophisticated as my five minute handywork.
    I can build one and sell it to you for an inflation adjusted price. You could draw the conclusion from my post that I'm selling you a bunch of junk, but have you tested it? No.

    Come to think of it, your post reminds me of the poor sods coming in for a 555 timer IC a 9V battery clip and a couple of passive components, convinced that they could build a cancer defeating device described in some quack book. No use in arguing with them but I felt sad after they'd gone, and bad for taking their money.

  • Re:Won't work. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ohms ( 728912 ) on Saturday April 27, 2013 @02:00AM (#43564955)
    Firstly, there isn't much different between believing in sympathetic magic/possession by evil spirits and the belief in a supreme being who directs our fate every day. My point? Everywhere in the world, you'll find "a people" who believe in otherworldly crap. Secondly, if you think the police spokesman firmly believes the bomb tthing works, then you're sorely mistaken. This is probably what happened (trust me, I have first hand information on this kind of stuff): 1. The British dude was able to get in contact with someone holding some Kenya government checkbook. 2. The British dude worked out a mutually beneficial trade. Say, allocate $60,000 for each dud, pay the Briton $40,000, and have the facilitator get the $20,000 kickback. 3. ?????? 4. PROFIT!!! Really, you're naïve to think that someone bought the scanner purely on its technical merits, without regard to how much money could be had from kickbacks.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson