‘Fake’ bomb detectors being used by hotel guards in Egypt

Cairo/London, Nov 10 (IANS) 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.

Wilayat Sinai, IS’s affiliate in the region, immediately claimed it downed Metrojet flight 9628 and Britain was 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 Paul Beaver, a security analyst, told the Independent 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.

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

The Egyptian foreign office said it was aware of the devices but added that other procedures were in place.

“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.

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 2014, 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 each, claiming they could even find missing children, including Madeline McCann, who has been missing since May 2007.

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.

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