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Some cargo (cash for banks, precious art pieces, gold, jewellery,...) are transported in bullet proof trucks with armed guards while travelling by road. Sometimes it may also be escorted by police.

Is there an equivalent for air transport? How is protecting handle for such cargo when transported by air (both at the airport (load breaking and ground operations) and in flight)?

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Decades ago, when we moved checks at night for Federal Reserve clearing, we would sometimes have sealed bags which were cash. On my flights, I never had an armed guard on board, but on taking off and landing, we were met on the ramp by an armored truck with armed guards on a routine basis.

The impression I had is that checks and other paper were the main cargo, and that cash and bullion were minor incidentals.

Related, items of national security are routinely carried by scheduled airliners, and are placed into the hold by cleared individuals, and then the hold is opened upon arrival, in the presence of cleared individuals who retrieve the packages. Contents are logged, in the event of compromise. Similar parcels are also handled by the major parcel and courier enterprises, with slightly different processes.

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Gold ingots are frequently transported by airlines. One shipment I handled was ingots the size of a VHS tape, it was wrapped in a tough thick paper somewhat like tar-paper and had steel banding. It was surprisingly heavy and caught me by surprise as It tried to pick it up by holding the edge and it wouldn't move. I had to slide it to the edge of the trolley before I could get my fingers under it to lift it.

Most other times gold would be shipped in heavy wooden crates but one shipment of gold was packed into bright blue 50gal drums.

Around 2004 Malaysia launched the polymer 5Ringgit note. This travelled from Australia to Malaysia in the belly of Malaysia Airlines 747 aircraft.

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