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Belgium to pioneer the self-destructing briefcase

Published on 13/09/2005

13 September 2005

BRUSSELS – Belgium could become the first country to use ‘intelligent’ briefcases programmed to destroy large sums of cash in the event of a robbery.

A royal decree has already been passed which would see the introduction of the cases by 1 January 2009. However, interior minister Patrick Dewael wants to see the technology arrive sooner in the light of a recent string of attacks on security firms transporting money.

After a meeting between security firms and Dewael, it was announced that Belgium could be using the cases to transport all cash from 1 January 2007.

To deter robbers from holding up security vans, messages with a picture would be displayed on the vans, stating that the firms use intelligent cases which automatically destroy their contents once in the wrong hands.

“Belgium would therefore become the first country to make compulsory the intelligent cases,” said Maxime Vanden Daele, a spokesperson for secure transport firm Brink’s.

Brink’s and Group 4 Securitas have asked the government to help them finance the introduction of the cases.

“Our company cannot pay for these investments alone,” said Vanden Daele. “If we aren’t helped, we won’t leave Belgium; we’ll simply go bankrupt.”

A working group set up by the government is exploring the possibility of giving security firms a VAT reduction or reintroducing the professional rate for diesel for the sector, a move which would need approval from Europe.

No agreement has yet been reached on the type of cases which should be used.

Already, though, security workers and unions have expressed worries about them. In October, talks will be held about the proposals with representatives from the interior ministry, unions, the banking sector, security firms and the federal police.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news