Updated: For the army, the GT200 lives

21 07 2012

Readers may recall that during the Abhisit Vejjajiva government’s period in office, there was considerable conjecture surrounding the GT200. To cut a long story short, we quote the Wikipedia entry on the GT200 (or search our site for GT200 if a longer story is required):

The GT200 is a fraudulent “remote substance detector” that is claimed by its manufacturer, UK-based Global Technical Ltd, to be able to detect from a distance various substances including explosives and drugs. The GT200 and its many iterations (Sniffex, ADE651, HEDD1) have been sold to a number of countries for a cost of up to £22,000 ($36,000) per unit, but the devices have been criticised as little more than a “divining rod” which lack any scientific explanation for why it should work.

Note the use of the word “fraudulent.” Tests in Thailand back in Abhisit’s time confirmed that the device simply didn’t work. Wikipedia adds:

The Thai press has condemned the GT200 for having “given wrong readings on several occasions and even failed to detect explosive materials, resulting in the loss of life.” Although Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva originally defended the devices, he later recanted when tests showed that they were completely ineffective at detecting explosives. However, they would still be used in the field at the discretion of the Army, which procured the devices and continue to use them.

A few days ago, Bangkok Pundit posted that fraud charges had been brought against the British company at the center of this fraud over the GT200 “divining rod.” These charges have prompted a response from those other fraudsters at the Thai Army headquarters. Almost immediately the British reports emerged, the Army boss General Prayuth Chan-ocha stated that not only was the device still used, he defended it:  “I affirm that the device is still effective. Other armed forces are also using it…”. He stated that it was still being used in the South.

The report continued, noting that the Army liked it because it was lightweight and portable, and added: “The only problem, of course, is that it doesn’t work.”

Making a farce even more ridiculous, Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat has indicated that he is dense, engaged in a cover up and worse. He was responding to a report from the political police at the Department of Special Investigation that the devices were purchased at exorbitant prices. For PPT that is translated as: commissions were paid to the brass.

Sukumpol confirmed the cover up when he “said the Defence Ministry will not intervene in the DSI’s request for the 13 government agencies that bought the devices to look into the procurements.” He added: “The GT200 detectors can do the job and they have already been tested…”.He also said: “The DSI should also ask those who are using the detectors because if they don’t work I want to know who would buy them.”

Sukumpol confirms that he is stupid, engaged in a cover-up and that he is party to the fraud: Sukumpol is an air force man, and “the air force was the first to procure the GT200 detectors when he was the air force chief-of-staff.”

The military brass is hopeless, believing in black magic of the GT200 fraudsters, risking and costing lives and collecting the loot for themselves.

Update: Bangkok Pundit has a substantial and important update on this farce.



3 responses

4 12 2014
Magic and media | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] It is a fact that many Thais are deeply influenced by astrology and other forms of magical beliefs. Most leaders in the corporate, military and government sectors seem to worry about astrology, numbers, feng shui, spirits and more. Some delve into black magic. Others have used taxpayer funding to buy the GT200, a fraudulent remote substance and bomb detector. […]

2 05 2017
Sub-optimal | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Can we assume that it is usual for the military to not ensure it gets all the taxpayer paid for? GT200, Sky Dragon? On those deals they also got what they paid for: commissions and worthless […]

2 05 2017
Sub-optimal | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Can we assume that it is usual for the military to not ensure it gets all the taxpayer paid for? GT200, Sky Dragon? On those deals they also got what they paid for: commissions and worthless […]

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