'No need' to assess dud bomb detectors

'No need' to assess dud bomb detectors

The Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) has said that the army does not need to examine fraudulent GT200 bomb detectors as a lawsuit seeking compensation from the distributor has been finalised.

The army's examination of the GT200 bomb detectors came to public attention during the House debate on the 2023 budget bill last week.

An opposition MP questioned why the army awarded a 7.5-million-baht contract in March to the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) to examine 757 GT200 bomb detectors despite it being common knowledge they were fraudulent.

In response, Defence Ministry spokesman Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich said the army filed a lawsuit against the GT200 distributor and the Central Administrative Court on Sept 1 ordered the company to pay 683 million baht in compensation.

The firm appealed to the Central Administrative Court and the OAG had then recommended that each device be examined as its results would be used as evidence in the case, according to Gen Kongcheep.

Prayuth Petchkhun, the deputy OAG spokesman, said yesterday the defendants in the case appealed the ruling but, on Feb 7 this year the distributor filed an application to withdraw the appeal and the request was granted by the Supreme Administrative Court on March 7.

Mr Prayuth said the compensation dispute is considered finalised with the distributor required to pay 683 million baht to the army as a result of the Central Administrative Court's ruling last year.

"The prosecution insisted on the examination of the device back then because it was crucial to the case. Now it isn't necessary," he said.

At least 15 state agencies were believed to have been duped into buying bogus detectors worth more than 1.13 billion baht from United Kingdom-based Global Technical Ltd between 2005 and 2010. The army was the biggest buyer of the GT200s, which were claimed to also be capable of detecting drugs and other substances.

The Department of Special Investigation said yesterday it is responsible for investigating 21 bogus bomb detector cases. In total, 16 have reached court, four are being reviewed by the prosecution and others by the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

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