How the superrich protect themselves
From secret escape routes to hidden shotgun shells, the tools used by the wealthy can get downright bizarre.
A new CNBC documentary premiering Monday explores the technologies that some billionaires use to keep themselves and their money safe. James Bond's got nothing on these dudes.
How about a secret weapon that can unleash 15 shotgun shells at an intruder from inside a wall? The shells are mounted behind drywall and can be fired remotely using an iPad.
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The system is considered a weapon of last resort, and it isn't even allowed in the U.S., according to the documentary. But people have installed it in Latin America and other regions where security and safety are greater concerns. The owner can fire the weapon only after going through a series of authentications to make sure he or she really wants to kill someone.
The superwealthy are using other protection measures in these uncertain economic times. Some have helipads atop their mansions to make quick escapes, CNBC's Eamon Javers reports. Others have built bomb shelters and safe rooms in their homes.
Where is this paranoia coming from? Part of it is a reaction to a new anger toward the upper class, Javers reports. The wealthy are feeling threatened after demonstrations such as Occupy Wall Street shed new light on hostility toward the 1%.
Some billionaires don't even want their private airplanes parked in other countries, CNBC reports. They instruct pilots to drop them off in Mexico or other places and then take the plane back to safe airspace. The pilot returns later to pick them up.
One CNBC contributor said some people are installing systems in their skyscraper offices that can punch through the window, giving the owner a parachute and a clear escape route.
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If they took the money that they are spending on defense and put it towards more philanthropic endeavors maybe people wouldn't hate them so much. Where else could this be applied?
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