Washington : In the aftermath of one of the deadliest attacks in Baghdad which killed at least 157 people, Iraq Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has ordered the removal of British-made fake bomb detectors which the security forces have been using for the past nine years.
The wands were proven to be fake long ago, reports the Guardian.
Prime Minister Abadi ordered a renewed corruption investigation into the sale of the devices from 2007-10, which cost Iraq more than 53 million pounds and netted the Somerset businessman James McCormick enormous profits.
McCormick was later sentenced to a 10-year jail sentence for fraud.
The withdrawal of wands follows years of insistence by the Interior Ministry officials that they were effective in sensing odours from explosive components.
Reportedly, the citizens have complained for years that the wands don’t work and warnings were also issued by the British Government and US military that the wands have no scientific value.
“They are fakes, fakes. They have been laughing at us by making us use them,” said an officer Sayyed Hamza while welcoming Prime Minister Abadi’s announcement. He added the move was ‘past due’.
In a statement, the Prime Minister said: “All security forces must take away the handheld detectors from checkpoints and the (ministry of interior) must reopen the investigation for corruption in the contracts for these devices and follow all entities which participated in them.”
A senior Interior Ministry official while justifying the reluctance to ackonwledge that the wands are useless said the people need some sort of reassurance.
“To say that these don’t work says that we don’t have anything better. The people need some sort of reassurance. Sometimes it is better to pretend,” he added. (ANI)