An MPA security guard with the five-ton juggernaut that is now the flagship of the company's fleet.
five-ton, armored truck capable of resisting automatic weapons fire or a grenade
explosion will soon be the newest addition to Phnom Penh's increasingly congested
Custom built in Thailand by the Thai military at the request of MPA Security Services,
the vehicle will be used to ferry substantial amounts of cash from place to place,
a process that can be quite risky as evidenced by the recent $310,000 payroll heist
at the Won Rex Garment Factory.
"Cambodia is a particularly dangerous country to do cash-in-transit in,"
said MPA's Country Director Chris Berger. He cited the ready availability of weapons
and weak security services as two of the reasons why, describing some company's security
personnel as "the friend of a friend who knew someone in the army with a rusty
"[Robbers] are just waiting, ready, outside banks," said Berger. "Usually
the robberies are pulled off by insiders and they don't hesitate to take a life."
Berger added that thieves would think nothing of killing a guard for $100,000. "[A
robber] can move to the countryside and live like King Tut on that money."
The armored truck is constructed from reinforced steel and has puncture-resistant
tires. Inside the vehicle are three separate compartments: one for the driver, another
where the electronically coded safe is kept and a third for a crew of four armed
guards who can shoot out at would-be crooks via gun ports. The windows are made from
two-inch thick fortified glass composite.
Berger says it is the only vehicle of its kind in the Kingdom, although he would
not reveal what it cost to make.
MPA will operate the vehicle in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior's National
Police, according to Berger. When in use, the armored truck's four armed guards will
be supplemented by two policemen on motorcycles as outriders and an additional police
car in the rear.
Berger said the truck is almost fully booked for its first month on the roads and
that fees are determined via a formula that considers both the value of the cargo
and the distance covered. At present, however, MPA is still completing the licensing
paperwork and while this is being done the truck is sitting outside General Hok Lundy's
office at the Ministry of Interior. Berger, who drove the truck in from Thailand,
said that Lundy helpfully provided an escort for the trip in.
"This truck is our flagship," said Berger, who added that MPA intends to
add two smaller armed vehicles to its fleet in the near future.