Girl, 15, to inherit £400,000 from estranged dad after global hunt for his heir


An unassuming three-bed property hiding a treasure trove worth £400,000 is set to go to a teenager in Indonesia as it belonged to her estranged dad.

The mystery daughter will receive the proceeds from the trove uncovered in the three-bed semi in Ramsgate and which included rare artefacts worth up to £20,000 each.

The home belonged to Alexander Thomson, a former BBC World Service East Africa and Far East editor, who died in September aged 71.

It was found to be full of incredibly valuable items, such as a highly coveted vase, parts of a 60ft boat and Chinese artefacts.

Unmarried and with no known next of kin or a will, detectives searched for any children he may have had.

Various rare and valuable pieces of art were uncovered, including a19th century vase and a Straits China wedding footstool measuring just 33cm x 28cm that fetched £2,200 at auction.

The vase, covered in dust and hidden from view, sold for a huge £20,000.

Dawsons Auctioneers & Valuers said the vase has a six-character mark on it related to the late 19th century Guangxu emperor, which made it so valuable.

Danny Curran, managing director of Finders International, says many of the items had an Asian influence and so they enlisted the help of Asian art expert Richard Harrison, of Dawsons Auctioneers and Valuers.

He said: “Only one of Alexander’s two sisters had children and at first glance the sizeable estate was destined to be inherited by his only niece and nephew.

“However, deeper and more forensic research by our team eventually revealed a young daughter in Asia.”

Mr Thomson, who was born in Singapore, had a religious marriage ceremony in Indonesia and, while this was not a legal marriage, that union resulted in a daughter born in 2006.

His estate, valued at £400,000, is set to be inherited by this mystery teenage girl who still lives in Indonesia.

Mr Curran added: “As a leading heir hunter one part of our job is to find relatives entitled to inherit an estate when the deceased has died intestate, with no will and with no known next of kin.

“We are thrilled that we traced Alexander’s daughter, who will rightly inherit his estate.

“We are sure that this is what Alexander would have wanted.”