Things that make you gasp

18 11 2011

Sometimes PPT comes across reports that really do leap out as having a particular “Wow! factor” and which seem to demand journalistic (and police) investigation but just seem to fade away. A story that has been in the media for a few days involves a robbery at the Lat Phrao 64 home of Supoj Saplom. He’s the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Transport and chairman of the State Railways of Thailand and was in position under the previous government. Earlier he was Director of the Highways Department.

A report a few days ago at the Bangkok Post stated that while Supoj was at his daughter’s wedding, “12 robbers tied the hands of two maids with rope before forcing them to take them to Mr Supoj’s room.” Supoj told reporters that “the valuables taken by the robbers were not in fact worth much, though they also took cash. He believed the robbers heard about his daughter’s bridal price so they wanted to steal it.”

In its most recent account, the Bangkok Post has a report of just a few lines where it states that a “man has allegedly confessed to stealing more than 200 million baht in cash from the house of transport Supoj Saplom.” That’s quite a bride price!

But it gets more interesting. One of the suspects claims “that when the gang entered the house, they found between 700 million baht to 1 billion baht in cash stuffed into bags.” That certainly isn’t loose change.

PPT always knew that positions in roads, railways and anything else associated with transportation was a neat perch from which to seek… ah… extra income. We don’t know Supoj and he may come from a very wealthy family, but up to a billion baht stuffed into bags sitting around at home would seem to be getting to the realms of the highly dubious.

Update: Soon after we posted this, The Nation reported that the National Anti-Corruption Commission is to probe Supoj on suspicion of unusual wealth. Supoj said he “was smeared by the suspects who claimed he might have hidden as much as Bt1 billion at his home.” He claimed this was untrue: “… I don’t have that much money…”. He earlier told police about 5 million in cash was stolen.


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29 03 2013
The mysterious world of “justice” | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] story of the robbery at the Lat Phrao 64 home of Supoj Saplom was a sensation for a while and then faded. That he could have accumulated immense wealth was clear from his […]

30 03 2013
The mysterious world of “justice” | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] story of the robbery at the Lat Phrao 64 home of Supoj Saplom was a sensation for a while and then faded. That he could have accumulated immense wealth was clear from his […]

4 02 2017
Corruption, nepotism and impunity | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] willing to literally pay for positions that see the greatest flows of funds. Think here of being permanent secretary at the Ministry of Transport and chairman of the State Railways of Thailand or police chief in Pattaya; the money flows like a […]

4 02 2017
Corruption, nepotism and impunity | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] willing to literally pay for positions that see the greatest flows of funds. Think here of being permanent secretary at the Ministry of Transport and chairman of the State Railways of Thailand or police chief in Pattaya; the money flows like a […]

21 07 2018
One more corruption case | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] story of the white-collar crook’s loot was a sensation for a while and then faded. He was alleged to have accumulated the money as permanent secretary at […]

21 07 2018
One more corruption case | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] story of the white-collar crook’s loot was a sensation for a while and then faded. He was alleged to have accumulated the money as permanent secretary at […]

19 10 2018
Supoj’s corruption | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] story of the white-collar crook’s loot was a sensation for a while and then faded. He was alleged to have accumulated the money as permanent secretary at […]

19 10 2018
Supoj’s corruption | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] story of the white-collar crook’s loot was a sensation for a while and then faded. He was alleged to have accumulated the money as permanent secretary at […]

10 03 2020
Supoj’s loot (or some of it) | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Saplom, a senior official at the Ministry of Transport, hit the headlines in late 2011 accused of massive corruption. As floods bore down on Bangkok, Supoj worried that his ill-gotten […]