Egypt plane crash: 'Fake' bomb detectors being used by hotel security guards searching for explosives

The devices seen are believed to be similar to British fakes like this one, manufactured by a couple in Bedfordshire

Lizzie Dearden
Tuesday 10 November 2015 09:36 GMT
The devices are believed to be based on British fakes such as this one, which was seized by police
The devices are believed to be based on British fakes such as this one, which was seized by police

As British and Egyptian authorities continue to assure tourists trapped in Sharm el-Sheikh that all possible measures are being taken to ensure their safety, bomb detectors being used by some hotel staff have been exposed as fake.

Security guards at hotels in the Red Sea resort have been seen using gadgets believed to be based on those sold around the world by jailed British conmen and women.

The sightings came as thousands of tourists continue to be stranded amid increased security measures following the Russian plane crash that killed all 224 people on board on 31 October.

UK 'checked Sharm security'

Wilayat Sinai, Isis’ affiliate in the region, immediately claimed it had downed Metrojet flight 9628 and Britain is among the countries believing a bomb hidden in the hold was the most likely cause of the disaster.

Security has been increased in Sharm el-Sheikh and the region as investigations continue and the Egyptian tourism industry seeks to assure visitors of their safety.

But Sun journalists described how guards at checkpoints outside several luxury hotels wafted a wand-like aerial” around their car and over luggage in the boot.

One security guard explained the instrument was to “stop cars going boom” but the small plastic device lacked any display or batteries and appeared to have a car aerial attached.

Paul Beaver, a security analyst, told the newspaper that it seemed to be a version of those sold to several governments before being exposed as a scam two years ago.

“They have no power to detect anything and mislead the public by giving them an entirely false sense of security,” he added.

“Isis operatives planning an attack would be wise to them and would know instantly that they offer no protection at checkpoints.”

The Foreign Office said it was aware of the devices but added that other procedures were in place.

The Foreign Office had demanded British airlines suspend flights to and from Sharm el Sheikh

“Across the resort, airport style scanners, sniffer dogs, body searches, metal detectors, private security, police and CCTV are being used to keep tourists safe,” a spokesperson said.

”We will continue to raise our concerns over the use of the devices in question.

“While we have updated our advice on travelling to Sharm el-Sheik by air, we have not changed the threat level for the resort.”

In 2013, conman James McCormick from Somerset was jailed for 10 years after being found guilty of three offences of fraud, having sold fake “ADE 651” bomb detectors to Iraq.

Similar fake bomb detectors have also been used by police in Iraq, shown here doing checks in Baghdad in 2012

In the, same year Gary Bolton from Kent was jailed for seven years over the sale of more than 1,000 useless “GT200s” which he claimed could detect bombs, drugs, ivory and money.

Then in October last year, Sam Tree was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for manufacturing similar gadgets with his wife in their garden shed in Dunstable.

The couple sold the useless boxes online for as much as $2,000 (£1,171) each, claiming they could even find missing children including Madeline McCann.

The Thai Government was among those duped by the scam, reportedly buying hundreds of the “Alpha 6” detectors to find bombs and drugs before tests exposed the fraud.

Additional reporting by PA

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