A housing project in central Phetchaburi province has come under fire after allegedly defrauding around 100 foreigners with damages totaling 2 billion baht. The housing project is said to have issued illegal land documents and attracted overseas buyers, mainly from the UK and Russia, to advertise the project on overseas-oriented websites.
Most of the land titles for the Phetchaburi Park project were for land in a national forest reserve. After inspection by local authorities, the land documents were reportedly revoked. About 100 foreigners, all of whom had paid in full to buy land and houses under the project, lost a total of 2 billion baht.
A petition has been filed with the Department of Special Investigations, calling on the department to investigate the alleged fraud. The president of the association Stop Global Warming, Srisuwan Janya, filed the petition with Rusan Ataev, of Russia, and Marcos Hurst, of the United Kingdom, both of whom claimed damages.
Sirsuwan said 99% of land titles under the Phetchaburi Park project were inside a national forest reserve, adding that the documents were issued illegally. Local officials reviewed the housing project in July 2020 and reported to the Royal Forestry Department that most of the project land was within the National Forest Reserve. The land documents were then revoked.
Hurst claims he bought a block of land from the housing project for 3 million baht, but later learned that foreigners cannot buy land in Thailand. The business closed and the man said he was unable to claim payment for the damages.
Hurst lives in Pattaya and has been in Thailand for 10 years. He saw an advertisement for the housing project 6 years ago, adding that it was aimed at foreigners. Since he owned a condominium, Hurst says he assumed he could buy land in Thailand.
Sirsuwan says the company has carried out other marketing projects in Pattaya and Phuket with expats in Thailand. He says 98% of the company’s shares were held by British and Russian nationals while the rest were held by Thais.
DSI chief executive Korawat Panprapakorn said the department could accept it as a special case, adding that its official would check with the royal forestry and land departments to see if the land documents were issued illegally.
THE SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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