New cash transport to reduce robbery risk

Sberbank has introduced new money transport containers, which paint the cash if opened improperly, after a recent attack on cash carriers in Moscow which left 3 guards dead.

The robbery involved the loss of more than 130 million roubles, with more than 40 assaults, many of them deadly, over the last two years.

With the new transport containers Russia’s biggest state-run bank hopes to make assaults on cash collectors a profitless venture. Valery Gribanov, executive director at Intel Security System, says that existing protection measures banks use today have little effect.

“No weapon or armour can protect from criminals, especially if those who are plotting a robbery are cash collectors themselves. The only way is to use special technology with electronic protection system. Such a system is used in the West since 1970s.”

The price of cash bags currently used in Russia, ranges from $5 to $145 dollars, with the most expensive ones having a primitive alarm system. Now the Central Bank is introducing special containers which will damage the cash if opened improperly. Stanislav Kuznetsov, Senior Vice President at Sberbank, says that it will be the first Russian bank to use new containers, and sees the new technology as a quite cost efficient.

“The containers are not cheap – from $3 thousand a piece. We spent more than $2 million to buy 420 cash cases which are going to be used across Russia. At first we thought it was too expensive, but after analyzing all the risks and costs we decided to try.”

Cash containers proved a success in more than 40 European countries, substantially reducing the number of attacks on collectors.

The new device can indeed dash some new colour on a robber’s life. If by any chance he succeeds in opening the case, the mechanism inside will trigger a mini-explosion and spray paint at bank-notes, limiting any opportunity to use the cash.

The tests showed that it’s impossible to remove the money, undamaged, from the case, with Gribanov adding that “Regardless of the amount of money all the bank-notes get painted.”

The Central bank will exchange tainted money, but will accept it only from the bank. Still, some sceptics doubt the new system will be cost effective. One reason is that cash transporters will not give up their weapons anytime soon.