NACC flags charges in GT200 case

Fraud charges are likely to be laid against Thai agencies which bought bomb and drug detectors from a discredited British firm, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) says.

  • Published: 25/04/2013 at 12:00 AM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

Member Vichai Vivitasevi says a sub-committee expects to charge suspects as part of its probe into state agencies which bought bogus GT200 and Alpha 6 detectors which cost more than 1.1 billion baht.

The GT 200 "explosives detector" has never revealed explosives.

The company that built and sold the devices was owned by James McCormick, who was found guilty of three counts of fraud by London's Old Bailey court on Tuesday.

In July last year, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) announced a probe into 13 agencies which it says were tricked into buying 1,300 fake bomb and drug detectors from McCormick's firm, Comstrac Co. It has since forwarded its findings to the NACC.

McCormick made an estimated 50 million pounds (2.1 billion baht) from sales of the device in countries such as Pakistan, Lebanon, Mexico, and Thailand.

The company has been accused of offering bribes to secure the sales in Iraq. Iraq's Interior Ministry directorate head, Maj Gen Jihad al-Jabiri, is now in prison on corruption charges related to the case.

DSI Bureau of Security Crime director, Pong-in Intrakaw, is questioning witnesses about the Thai procurements.

He is probing the terms of reference that favoured the purchase of the GT200.

He said the DSI has found Comstrac Co brought its own "explosive ordnance disposal" staff to demonstrate the products here, adding that the company conned the agencies into purchasing the equipment. Comstrac, through its local dealers, persuaded 13 agencies to buy 1,358 GT200 and Alpha 6 detectors worth 1.137 billion baht.

The army, the biggest purchaser of the devices, had bought more than 700 units of the GT200 since 2006, with most of them used in the restive deep South.

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Writer: King-oua Laohong
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