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Major General Dusadee Arayawuthi at the Phuket coast property today

Phuket Property Probes Widen to Include Patong, Loch Palm Titles

Monday, September 24, 2012
PHUKET: Land probes on Phuket extended more widely today to the prime holiday resort coast near Patong and to a large estate near two of Phuket's premium golf courses.

The latest allegations of faked or flying property titles are being investigated by a second body, the Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption, under Major General Dusadee Arayawuthi.

In one of the allegedly fake Phuket property titles now being investigated, a vice governor signed for final approval just last month. Normally, Phuket's Governor is the final signatory.

The investigation by the anti-corruption group comes in tandem with a broadening investigation of 14 Phuket properties that remains underway, with luxury brands Istana Phuket and Malaiwana added to the list at the weekend by the the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

In August, six powerful government organisations - including anti-corruption groups and the Department of Special Investigation - pledged on Phuket to form a grand alliance to end public land theft and promote a new generation of right-minded officials.

A former Phuket vice governor and a former Interior Ministry permanent secretary are being investigated, and the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the the Department of Special Investigation have been alerted because of their wider powers.

Today's fresh investigations will do nothing to still rising concern that consumer confidence in the Phuket property industry is likely to suffer.

In an investigation of 57 rai behind a high wall at the rear of Phuket's Lock Palm golf course in central Phuket, PACC officials are investigating how a Sor Kor agricultural title became a fully-fledged property title. Red Mountain golf course is further uphill.

The application to upgrade the title - to start a tin mine - came on June 1 this year and was signed off by a Phuket vice governor on August 23.

A second investigation involves land along the coast road between Patong and Kamala, near the landmark IndoChine resort.

An ''agricultural purposes'' title originally issued for a tract of land near Patong's Suwankiriwong Temple - at the Nanai entrance to Patong - is believed to have been ''lost'' then reissued at the request of two brokers by land title officials in Patong.

A resort is now under construction on the extremely steep seaside property opposite Kalima, on the coast road where property prices are among the most expensive on Phuket.

The original ''agricultural purposes'' area of four rai near Patong temple has grown to 24 rai - on both sides of the coast road, where terracing is now underway, say investigators.

Initial results of the first 12 investigations by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation are due for release tomorrow. All border Sirinath National Park and involve alleged encroachment.

The director of that department, Damrong ''The Demolisher'' Pidech, retires at the end of this month. At the same time, Major General Dusadee is being transferred to a new posting.

A national anti-corruption hotline is now in operation. If you have allegations, call 1206.

Comments

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This changing of Sor Kor 1 land titles into Chanote titles by dodgy officials has been going on for years. A certain Patong official holds almost legendary status for doing this. This corruption undermines the whole real estate industry on Phuket. Who is going to buy property or land when there is so much doubt as to what is legitimate and what isn't. I see villas and houses online that have been up for sale for many years. Nobody is buying and why would they with all this corruption. The sad fact is, most of these dirty deals are being done by people who are already very wealthy. You just can't buy character with money, unfortunately.

Posted by logbags on September 24, 2012 12:24

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Hope they will prosecute in court all greedy wrongdoers and flatten all illegal buildings to reforest the hills.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on September 24, 2012 13:35

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Adhere to the law, OR the law will adhere to you. Good work now let's hope it does not run out of steam with the changing of the guard, like so many other anti corruption, anti this and that issues on Phuket alone?

Posted by Robin on September 24, 2012 15:45

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If there would be also an email address to use to contact 1206 (National Corruption hotline) it would be nice to publish it.

Posted by PhuketGreed on September 25, 2012 10:15


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