Governor orders probe into alleged Phuket beach land swindle

PHUKET: The Phuket Governor has ordered a direct investigation into how a man claiming to be a real estate agent allegedly conned villagers near Layan Beach into signing a document that empowered him to mortgage their land for 20 million baht.

The incident came to light on Thursday when the villagers, led by Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor) President Ma-ann Samran, filed a complaint at the Damrongtham Center (ombudsman’s office) at Phuket Provincial Hall.

“More than a year ago, a man named Chat Sukkwan claimed that he could help us upgrade our NorSor 3 [land document] to a Chanote land title,” said Lima Wanyee, 75.

“He asked me and my five siblings to sign documents to do so, but it turned out that he mortgaged our land for 20 million baht.”

Ms Lima explained that the plot of family land is in high demand.

“Our land is a beautiful piece of land in Baan Layan. It’s 30 rai with a sea view that used to be a rubber plantation. A lot of investors have expressed interest in buying it,” she said.

Damrongtham Center chief Prapan Kanprasang told the Phuket Gazette that the Chanote in question was issued in March last year and mortgaged to Orawan Kensukcharoen in November.

“My advice to Ms Lima and her siblings is to file their complaint to the Thalang Land Office as soon as possible to prevent any further transactions over the land,” he said.

“The next step is to for us to talk to the relevant authorities to determine what should be done, as the mortgage has already been granted.”

Mr Prapan said that though the family had yet to file a complaint with police, he would be organizing a team that will search for Mr Chart so that they can question him about the transaction.

Governor Maitri Inthusut, present when the complaint was filed, ordered Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosuttirak to lead the investigation and report directly to him.

— Chutharat Plerin

Phuket News

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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