UK

Fake bomb detector seller James McCormick to forfeit £8m

James McCormick Image copyright Reuters
Image caption James McCormick was jailed in 2013 for selling fake bomb detectors

A British businessman serving a 10-year jail term for making bogus bomb detectors has been ordered to forfeit cash and assets worth nearly £8m.

James McCormick, from Langport, Somerset, made a fortune selling his detectors to Iraq and other countries.

At his Old Bailey trial in 2013, Judge Richard Hone QC said that McCormick's fraud had undoubtedly cost lives.

Now the same judge has ordered that his cash, properties and a luxury motor cruiser should be taken from him.

In total the proceeds of crime order amounted to £7,944,834.

$20 radio aerials

Judge Hone ordered that some of that money should be paid in compensation to nations around the world who bought the bogus devices, including Bahrain, Lebanon, Niger and Georgia.

Iraq is due to receive £2.3m in compensation.

McCormick is thought to have made £50m from sales of the fake devices - his trial heard of one invoice showing sales of £38m over three years in Iraq alone.

They came to be used and trusted by soldiers, police, border guards, and hotel security staff.

McCormick would buy novelty "golf ball detectors", which were little more than radio aerials, from the US for less than $20 each (£14), before selling them as bomb detectors for $5,000 each (£3,500), his trial heard.

At the time, Judge Hone told him: "The device was useless, the profit outrageous, and your culpability as a fraudster has to be considered to be of the highest order."

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