Kenya police insist UK bomb detectors genuine

April 26, 2013 5:03 pm
Police demonstrated how the gadgets can detect heroin. Photo/ CAPITAL FM
Police demonstrated how the gadgets can detect heroin. Photo/ MIKE KARIUKI

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26 – Despite the conviction of businessman James McCormick by a UK court for selling fake bomb detectors, police in Kenya insist that the devices they acquired from his company are effective.

Police in Nairobi held a demonstration for journalists to prove that the Advanced Detection Equipment (ADEs) are indeed capable of detecting illicit shipments like narcotic drugs.

The officers used heroin samples to demonstrate efficient use of the devices led by the head of Flying Squad Munga Nyale and Constable Amos Agudo, an expert who uses the ADEs.

“This machine detects drugs, explosives like grenades; it uses different cards depending on the materials we want to detect,” he said adding that it could not however single out the specific drug.

The machine is fitted with an antenna that turns to point to the location where the drugs, firearms or explosives are located.

There was however no demonstration done on the equipment’s capacity to detect firearms or explosives with Nyale insisting that queries on procurement be directed to the relevant departments.

Reports indicate that each of the bomb detectors were sold to the government at a cost of Sh3.5 million yet a court in the UK was told that the gadgets’ actual value could only be Sh1,600.

Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo allayed fears on the equipment insisting that none of the detectors bought by the government was bogus as reported.

Through Police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi, the IGP insisted that the equipment currently deployed for detection of explosives, firearms and narcotics was properly functional and effective.

“The ones we have and are using are working. None has been found to be faulty and any which might have malfunctioned (was) as a result of an operational malfunction and not because of the quality,” he insisted.

Kenya is among countries which acquired the gadgets which are usually used to detect guns, drugs and bombs at roadblocks and other areas during security operations.

British media reported earlier this week that McCormick had pocketed up to Sh6.4 billion after selling the gadgets to Kenya, Iraq, Belgium and the UN for use in Lebanon.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the detectors lacked “any grounding in science and doesn’t work in accordance with the known laws of physics” and that they are “completely ineffectual as a piece of detection equipment”.

McCormick has since been charged and found guilty on three counts of fraud in relation to three models he sold.

He was granted conditional bail until May 2 when he will be sentenced.

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