Donnerstag, 28. Januar 2010

Will Thai Authorities Admit Their Mistake After The ADE651 And GT200 Have Been Exposed As Fraud?

Followers of this blog will know the citizens of Thailand have also been struggling to get their government to stop using dowsing rods to try to detect weapons and drugs.  The video of Thai police officers being killed by an explosive that their dowsing rod did not detect should have been sufficient proof of the danger presented by GT200, ADE-651, HEDD1, Sniffex, PSD22, H3 Tec, or any other such device.   The Tumbler Blog takes a look at the response of Thai government officials to the overwhelming evidence that the devices do not work: – A Thai political and current affairs blog - A Thai political & current affairs blog
Authorities Insist GT200 Does Work, The Nation Says No10

PM Abhisit Vejjajiva on his internet Q&A programme, talking about the GT200
If anyone wants an indicator of how low our government has sunk in recent months, there is probably no better one than the fact that The Nation is now talking more sense than the Oxford-educated PM Abhisit Vejjajiva.
The BBC recently conducted an investigation into one of the many types of so-called hand-held “substance detectors” being used by government agencies in a handful of Third World countries including Thailand. The Iraqis are using them at checkpoints to thwart suicide bombers. Thai police forces have them in hand when looking for illegal drugs. Thai troops in the deep south also use them to save people from bombs, for example.
The investigation concluded that the device is completely bogus, consisting of nothing more than cheaply-made plastic and unsophisticated parts. While the model of the detector examined (ADE-651) was different from the ones being used in Thailand (GT200), the UK government has issued a ban on the ADE-651 “and other similar devices” and also arrested the man behind the ADE-651 detector. The BBC makes it clear that no Western government uses these types of detectors. For more information see Bangkok Pundit’s posts herehere and here.
(Click “read the rest of this entry” below to see Thailand’s response.)

In Thailand, netizens and university lecturers have been campaigning against the use of the GT200 for quite a while, but their efforts have proved largely fruitless, with the authorities insisting that the detectors do work reliably and help cut violence in the deep south. The media-friendly Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand has challenged sceptics to observe her team use the device in their daily forensic job.
Now, after the BBC’s revelation, one would expect that the Thai authorities would have seen the truth and stopped using the GT200 by now.  Yet, their responses have been absolutely astonishing, even by the standard of our beloved Thailand.
First we have Anupong the army chief:
In response to reporters’ angry questions about the British-made scanner, Army chief Anupong Paochinda shot back: “Is the company using you to ask these questions?” (The Nation)
Then, another one in the military top brass:
Joint Military Police Civilian Taskforce commander Lt-General Kasikorn Kirisri said the GT200 scanner was very useful in detecting and preventing explosions in the deep South, where violent incidents on an almost daily basis have killed more than 3,900 people to date.
“Not using the bomb detector may affect efforts to restore peace in the deep South,” he warned, adding that there might have been some problems with the detector, but they mostly involved human error. (The Nation)
Then this, a bit more promising but still under the illusion that the GT200 is a real functioning detector:
However, the police believe the bomb detector is not effective enough, with only a 30-40-per-cent reliability factor, which means the chance of it failing is higher than succeeding.
“It is not accurate. If the operator is too close to the target – less than 3 metres – it will not work,” said Pol Senior Sgt-Major Chan Warongpaisit, who regularly operates the equipment in the South. (The Nation)
But what about Dr Pornthip? :
Meanwhile, Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand, director of the Forensic Science Institute and who always uses the GT200, said the UK had only banned the ADE651.
She said the detector was effective when searching for bombs and even nails under water. (The Nation)
Not to be outdone, our dear Prime Minister in his internet broadcast (Thai language):
[My translation]:
In the past these detectors were purchased. If you ask me whether they have been of any use, I’d say “yes, they have.” But a weakness has been found. As far as I know from talking to people familiar with it, a limit of this device is that it relies on static charges within the body of the user. Hence, sometimes if the user hasn’t had enough rest or is not well-prepared, the detector’s effectiveness will be reduced. So, at the moment, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board is asking for similar detectors, maybe with different names or brands, but which  are battery-operated. They will replace the GT200.
[Original quotation in Thai]:
“ในอดีตเนี่ยมีการซื้ออุปกรณ์ตัวนี้มา ถามว่าได้ประโยชน์มั้ย ก็ได้ประโยชน์ครับ แต่ว่ามีการพบครับว่า มันมีจุดอ่อน คือเครื่องนี้เนี่ย เท่าที่ผมได้มีโอกาสพูดคุยกับผู้ที่เกี่ยวข้อง ก็คือว่า มีจุดอ่อนตรงที่ว่า ยังต้องอาศัยเรื่องของกระแสไฟฟ้าในตัวคนที่ใช้ เพราะฉะนั้นบางทีสภาพของตัวบุคคลที่ไปตรวจนะครับ ถ้า อาจจะพักผ่อนน้อยไป ไม่มีความพร้อมเนี่ย ก็จะทำให้เครื่องนี้เนี่ย ขาดประสิทธิภาพ เพราะฉะนั้นขณะนี้เนี่ย แนวที่ ปปส. ขอดำเนินงาน ก็คืออุปกรณ์ในแบบเดียวกันครับ แต่ว่า อาจจะเรียกว่าคนละยี่ห้อหรือคนละชื่อ ที่มีพลังงานในตัวเอง จะถูกนำมาใช้แทน”
Perhaps the PM had been briefed by some security officials before the programme, and that was probably his only source of information. He should be pretty embarrassed to know that even The Nation sounds more sensible than him. From the same report:
Just like the ADE651, no tests have proved the GT200 to be totally effective.
Yet, the GT200 failed to detect many bombs in the deep South, which led to several tragic incidents. Last October, two bombs killed two people and injured dozens of others in Yala and Narathiwat provinces after the so-called bomb detector failed to detect any explosive devices in the area. However, military officials say the operators were in an excited state, which prevented the equipment from working properly.

In reality though, bomb detectors like the GT200 have never succeeded in double-blind tests. A test of the equipment conducted for Thai authorities by a sales agent resulted in a “random chance” finding, which meant a sniffer dog would be better at detecting explosives.
A 1999 guideline from the US Justice Department regarding commercial explosive-detection systems said so far, there were no devices that could successfully detect specific materials like explosives as part of controlled double-blind tests.
[...] – A Thai political and current affairs blog - A Thai political & current affairs blogAn Chulalongkorn University engineer said the bomb detector was being used in the deep South as if it were a magic dowsing rod.

1 Kommentar:

Techowiz hat gesagt…

Hi Lumpy,

Perhaps the Thai s are getting the message see the links:

They are delaying the purchase of further GT200 for the time being.