A British businessman who has made millions selling dowsing-rod "explosives detectors" to the Iraqi security forces has been arrested on suspicion of fraud.
The Times reports that Jim McCormick, 53, a former Merseyside police officer who is nowadays managing director of detector-maker ATSC (UK) Ltd, was arrested and questioned by Avon and Somerset detectives, following widespread claims that his company's products do not work. He is currently free on bail pending further enquiries.
ATSC's ADE "Advanced Detection Equipment" is said by its makers to be able to detect "all known drug and explosive based substances", using "non-vapour" methods. A simple plastic holder is fitted with a special piece of cardboard which has been prepared using "the proprietary process of electrostatic matching of the ionic charge and structure of the substance" to be detected. There is no power source or electronics - the device is said to be "charged" by the body of the user.
Attached to the holder is a metal wand which the user holds at right angles to his or her body. The wand is said to drift in the direction of any explosive, drug or whatever else the cardboard insert has been "electrostatically matched" to - even contraband ivory or truffles - at ranges of up to 1km.