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ASSOCIATION LOOKING TO IMPROVE SECURITY

The Money Changers Association Singapore is looking at security education programmes for its members, said the association's compliance officer Gani M.J.

This was decided after the management committee met last night.

Mr Gani told The New Paper after the meeting, that while the recent robbery cases involved individuals from other countries, it was still important to ensure that its 150 members could conduct their businesses safely.

"Every (moneychanger) has his own safety protocol, and we make sure not too many people know about it.

"We're waiting for the police to inform us how some groups can find out this classified information," Mr Gani said.

HIGH COST

The association had earlier called on members to hire security, but also noted that many were unwilling to do so because of the high cost.

Association secretary Mohamed Rafeeq said armed escorts can cost at least $150 an hour, and many businesses which are family-run may not be willing to spend that sort of money.

Money changers can make several runs a day, be it from their shops to cash wholesalers (which are larger money changers), or from their shops to the banks.

He added that the association is now looking at consolidating members who want security services.

They may then try to negotiate with security companies for a better deal.

Mr Rafeeq revealed that his father, who used to be a money changer, previously hid cash in specially-sewn pockets in his undershirt.

He would then wear a vest over his clothes, which made it look like he was going fishing.

"But what I do, I can't reveal too much. If not, people will know the tricks of our trade," he said.