Cash-carrying helicopters criticised
By ANDY GILBERT
THE use of helicopters to carry large sums of cash between Hong Kong and Macau has been criticised by a security expert.
The warning comes after casino tycoon Stanley Ho announced a ban on cash shipments by his ferries after the $10 million jetfoil hijack last month.
It is understood cash has already been transported by Mr Ho's East Asia Airlines helicopter company although contracts to carry money on a regular basis are still being discussed.
Security consultant Frank Knight said using helicopters was ridiculous.
'Helicopters are just not reliable because they depend on good weather. If they can't fly, people will be left standing round with lots of cash.' The safest method would be to hire a jetfoil with an armed escort once a week to transport all valuable shipments.
'You can't make any guarantees with a helicopter but with a jetfoil under armed escort, no one is going to touch it.' Hiring Mr Ho's helicopters would give struggling East Asia a welcome cash boost.
Ted Devereaux, chief executive of Guardforce, said his company had not ruled out using a special boat to transport money between Hong Kong and Macau.
But the option of helicopters was more likely, although no decisions had been made.
Despite Mr Ho's claim that East Asia had secured five contracts for transporting cash, it is understood discussions are still being held about the cost of the service.