Hunt for bomb fraudster's profits

A millionaire who sold bogus bomb detectors to countries at war, where hundreds were killed or maimed by explosive devices, has been jailed for 10 years by a judge who told him that he had blood of the innocent on his hands.

James McCormick faces another 10 years in prison if he fails to disclose the whereabouts of the money - "obscene profits", said Judge Richard Hone - from selling the devices based on golf ball finders.

The former policeman made £48 million ($87.6 million) from the Iraqi government alone. Detectives say they are tracing a money trail abroad. Hearings will take place, culminating in May next year, about the amount he would have to surrender.

The "golf ball finders", which did not work, cost around £13 each and McCormick sold them for £26,000 each to the Iraqi Government.

The Iraqi Government is expected to try to secure money as compensation for bomb victims. But it is believed that McCormick used bribes to get contracts.

Major General Jihad al-Jibiri, the head of the Interior Ministry's directorate of combat explosives, is under arrest on suspicion of corruption over the purchase from McCormick.

Judge Hone told McCormick: "What you perpetrated was a callous confidence trick. The device was useless, the profit outrageous and your culpability as a fraudster has to be placed in the highest category. Your profits were obscene, funding grand houses, a greedy and extravagant lifestyle and even a yacht. You have neither insight, shame nor any sense of remorse."

The Old Bailey heard statements from British army officers that blasts killing civilians in Baghdad occurred after truck bombs and other explosives had passed through checkpoints manned by security officers using fake detectors.

- Herald on Sunday

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