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April 20, 2014

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Former Thai civil servant found unusually rich

Updated Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 | 6:38 a.m.

BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai court has ordered more than $1.4 million in assets seized from a former top civil servant whose wealth was revealed when burglars robbed his house.

The Civil Court said Friday that former Transport Ministry Permanent Secretary Supoj Saplom could not prove his wealth was honestly earned. It said his civil servant's salary from 1978 until 2002 could not account for it.

Supoj had reported to police that $156,000 was missing after a burglary at his home in 2011. But when the burglars were caught, they confessed to stealing $570,000 in cash and gold. Prosecutors found Supoj had about $2 million in assets, $1.4 million presumed ill-gotten by the court.

Supoj claimed that part of his fortune was earned before he joined the government and some belonged to relatives.