Madeleine McCann: Couple Face Jail Time Selling Bogus Bomb Detectors That Could ‘Find’ Maddie

August 5, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

A UK couple is facing jail time after making bogus bomb detectors that they claimed could locate Madeleine McCann.

Samuel and Joan Tree made claims that the detectors could be used to find drugs and explosives, reported The Independent. However, the items were merely just plastic boxes that had an antenna on it with ripped up shreds of paper inside of it.

The devices were sold for about $2,000.

Judge Richard Marks QC said, “You must understand that all options are open to the court and the strong likelihood given the offence of which you have been found guilty is a custodial sentence.”

The couple made hundreds of thousands of dollars after making about 1,500 of them.

According to the BBC, the couple said the devices could help McCann, who disappeared seven years ago. Some of the bits of torn-up paper included a photo of the girl.

Prosecutor Sarah Whitehouse QC told the BBC: “The impression given is one of sophistication and effectiveness based upon scientific principles. Despite the fact that these plastic boxes plainly could not work, people did, astonishingly, buy them.”

She added: “They claimed that this Alpha 6 was capable of detecting the presence of drugs and explosives and other substances and objects. They even claimed on one occasion that it is capable of finding particular people, most notably Madeleine McCann,” according to the Huffington Post.

“These claims were all false. The device was nothing more than a plastic box with an antenna stuck on the top and some pieces of paper inside. It cost a few pounds to make and yet was sold to agents and suppliers for hundreds and sometimes thousands of times that amount.”