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The mysterious villa today, difficult to access and hard to spot

Phuket Hideaway Villa the Latest Surprise in Poaching Probe Jigsaw

Sunday, August 26, 2012
PHUKET: Investigations into claims that big-brand resorts have poached land from a Phuket national park gained traction today with the discovery of a hideaway luxury villa.

The villa, accessible only by sea or a footpath, is close to the superb Trisara Resort, one of the 10 properties under investigation.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has appointed 10 teams - all from outside Phuket - to investigate the 10 properties.

A Frenchman is currently renting the newly-discovered villa on a 30-year contract, according to Trisara investigator Sermyod Sommun, the Director of Conservation Operation Region 16 (Chiang Mai).

The property also has a pier, for which there appears to be no paperwork, he said.

How officials failed to spot a pier that allegedly is not supposed to be there opens another range of questions.

Khun Sermyod aims to pursue the owner of the land and the bureaucrats who awarded the title.

He said a Sor Kor title for 20 rai in the region appears to have mystifyingly grown to include 200 rai.

Most countries have standard land titles but the mutiple titles available in Thailand have helped to create the potential for deceit.

''Flying'' Sor Kor titles - issued for one section of land then transferred to cover another - are likely to complicate the pursuit of the culprits in the Sirinath National Park cases.

The resort owners involved deny any wrongdoing.

Phuket's property industry relies on the certainty of ownership and one consequence of the current investigations may be greater due diligence and larger fees for lawyers.

Comments

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May anyone tell them, that the use of google earth can help a lot?
On google earth it is even the road to see, that was probably the construction road for that villa! In 2009, the road was still there, now it's gone! When did the Farang started to rent the villa?

Posted by ??? on August 26, 2012 23:03

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Outside teams the only way to go on this island poor french bloke done over by these crooks and officials. Keep up the great work Mr Sermyod

Posted by Scunner on August 26, 2012 23:25

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Don't talk about it, just demolish it now.

Posted by The clown on August 27, 2012 09:14

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Poor french bloke? Renting on a 30 year contract suggests that he's probably the owner as well. If he's the person who built it, then he should have known better and did his due diligence (and if he did know the project was illegal and went ahead anyway, then he deserves to lose his property!). If he really was an innocent dupe who entered into a 30 year lease, common sense would have suggested doing a full due diligence, and any half decent lawyer on this island would have been able to figure out this shouldn't have been built.

Posted by Anonymous on August 27, 2012 10:42

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The frenchman indeed owns the villa. He bought the land knowing there was no road access, and he built the villa by bringing all of the materials in on a barge (hence the pier).

Posted by matt on August 27, 2012 11:53

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"There's none so blind as those who will not see!" [Proverb]

Posted by Logic on August 27, 2012 14:23

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In my opinion, the foreigner bought the land by setting up a Thai company with Thai proxy nominees as Thai directors, shareholders and staffs; them making an official rental contract for the land for 30 year-lease to protect his investment.
House may have been registered in his own name which is legal in Thailand by declaring the house as his property on the land document.
All land brokers and real estate businesses offer that type of deal but it is illegal in Thailand to have proxy nominees and the Thai administration have the right to seize the property and make compulsory for the foreigner to sell it within one year or the property will be sell at auction by the government.
In that case, as it is on public land and inside a national park boundary, the best way would be to demolished the building and return the land as national forest as they will do in other national parks such as in Thap Lan National Park where reforestation would begin once all the resort buildings were demolished. Reforestation cost about 40,000 Baht per rai according to National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on August 27, 2012 17:06

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How about another view since everyone is guessing anyway. How about the Frenchman leased the land for 30 years from a Thai and then registered the lease with the Thai Government (required to make a 30 year lease valid). The Thai government then excepted the lease and added it to their records and then the Frenchman thinking everything is according to the law could not only build but could have even asked and gotten permission (though not likely) to build. Now if it happened that way then the frenchman should be made whole for his loss if the building is to be taken from him. Because he would have followed the law and shouldn't have to pay for others actions. That is the main problem land has been given legal papers that they should not have and the real problem addressed in the story.

Posted by mike on August 27, 2012 19:27


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