PHUKET: The sale by auction of two of the largest plots of land on Racha Yai Island, south of Phuket, which was initially scheduled for June 1, has been postponed to an unspecified date. Aran Sae-Lim of Harrison Auction Co Ltd, one of the two auction organizers (the other is Mel Giller & Associates), said he expects an announcement about the new date within a week. There has been speculation in the property market and in newspapers that the postponement may be linked to one of two factors. The first is related to complaints by people living on the island who have demanded that the Land Department tell them how the owners of the two plots managed to get Nor Sor 3 titles to their land while no one else on the island has been able to get papers of any kind for the land they occupy. The Racha Yai people have threatened to stage a protest in front of the auction venue if they fail to get a satisfactory explanation. The second piece of speculation is that the two plots are actually located in a forest preservation area, and thus may not be owned by anyone. Today, Khun Aran gave the Gazette a different explanation – that there has been tremendous interest in the two pieces of land. The auction organizers therefore need more time to show the sites to all the potential bidders. Addressing the speculation, he said, “Before we made the announcement, we sought advice from the relevant government agencies. All the documents were checked, and we have proof that they were properly checked. “A lot of newspapers wrote stories about this without consulting us first,” he noted, adding that if the newspapers continue in this vein, the auctioneers will consider taking legal action.
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