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The Peaks Residences owner speaks out over land claim, public controversy

The Peaks Residences owner speaks out over land claim, public controversy

PHUKET: Manassanan Nararattanawee, the CEO of Kata Beach Co Ltd, as the owner of The Peak Residence development under construction at Kata Noi on Phuket’s west coast, today (Aug 21) issued the company’s first response to Palang Pracharath Party MP Sira Jenjara filing a slew of formal complaints over the project after publicly revealing late last week that he had received death threats over the development.

Wednesday 21 August 2019, 06:57PM


Mr Sira told Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana in person at Phuket Provincial Hall on Monday (Aug 19) that he will push to prosecute any officials found involved in allowing the project to be built on protected forest land.

Formal requests to investigate all officials, including the Governor himself, will be filed, Mr Sira said.

“I will ask the Ministry of Interior why the Phuket Governor let this happen, and I will prosecute relevant officers who did wrong or ignored this case – even though I have received a death threat,” Mr Sira assured.

Mr Sira spoke with Gov Phakaphong immediately after filing a complaint at the Damrongdhama Center (Provincial Ombudsman’s Office) calling for them to investigate The Peaks project for encroaching on protected forest land.

Mr Sira has already filed a complaint with Department of Land and Director General Prayoon Rattanasenee.

In his complaint, Mr Sira also called on the Phuket Government to investigate the construction permit issued and whether the construction is continuing as written in the permit.

Mr Sira also requested that if any wrongdoing is found, for the government to order all work at the site to stop and for the Karon Mayor to be removed from office and the contractor to leave the area so that the investigation can be transparent.

Mr Sira levelled a barrage of heavy criticism at Phuket officials for allowing the project to continue.

“The complaint that I filed today will also be filed to the Ministry of Justice to be considered as a special case on Aug 21,” Mr Sira told Governor Phakaphong.

“Additionally, I will also file a request to the Department of Rights and Liberties Protection for protection,” he added.

“I will also file a request with the Anti Money Laundering Office (Amlo) to investigate the properties owned by and any financial transactions involving any officers related to this project,” Mr Sira promised Gov Phakaphong. (See story here.)

Today, Mr Manassanan explained to a press conference held at Café Havana Kata Noi, near the The Peaks Residence development, basic details of the land acquisition and the company’s position on the legality of the project.

However, he did not make any references to the death threats claimed by Mr Sira.

“My company bought this land from two men, one a businessman and the other a police officer. All the processes in purchasing the land was under the law. The two selling the land are not involved in this project, I am the only owner of this project,” Mr Manassanan

“The Administrative Court of First Instance issued a judgment to revoke the land document for this land. That is the discretion of the court. No officials or investors have received any benefits from this project. Everything is under the law,” Mr Manassanan stressed.

“Our company has already suspended construction to wait for the judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court. Suspending construction is for those who concerned about this project. The controversy this week has not had any positive effect, all it has done is damage the image of our province.

“This suspension of construction certainly has had an effect. We cannot hand over the units to our customers on time… There are 18 more buildings that we have not built yet because we are waiting for the judgement of the court.

“In accordance with an order from Karon Municipality, we are building a wall to prevent any landslides and we are installing retention tanks to prevent runoff. The road in the project also has to be built to cover land with concrete in order to prevent any landslides.

“We also worry about people living below us and around the area of our project. Some parts of the construction have had to carry on for safety because the fittings may be damaged,” Mr Manassanan said.

“We are pleased to step back for now. We have no idea how long we have to wait. We are willing to take responsibly for the risk, damages and the judgement of the court. I hope Thai people will understand our situation right now. All of our customers well understand the situation that we are facing,” he said.

“This B2.1 billion project is in the process of filing request to get title deeds (for the land). We have only NorSor 3 Kor (land-use document), but do not have full title deeds,” Mr Manassanan admitted.

Of note, Wanchat Chunhatanom, a senior prosecutor at the Phuket Public Prosecutor’s office who is the provincial prosecutor assigned to the case, in March explained, “All condo unit ownership deeds must be based on the land being issued a Chanote title.

“If the land for the project has not been issued a Chanote, then the project must be registered as a hotel or other accommodation building (with only occupancy rights agreements issued to unit 'owners'),” he said.

“The project owner must inform consumers of the full facts,” he added. (See story here.)

Subsequently, Mr Manassanan today explained, “We have two kinds of customers. The first group is freehold buyers, and another group is only renting the units. Without title deeds, we can let them rent, but for those who buy the condo, we have to give them some discount and inform that they can stay in the condo but they have no right on the land. Dealing with customers is the duty of our partner agencies.

“Every time we update the situation for our customers, they have responded very well. No one has asked for their money back, and they are happy to wait for us,” Mr Manassanan added.

 

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Fascinated | 22 August 2019 - 18:57:57

Ben, ever wonder why a Bangkok MP got involves with this issue in the fissrt place. Even though the project itself reeks of corruption methinks this is a case of sour grapes on his part. He probably didn't get his cut along the way.

Rene | 21 August 2019 - 22:50:02

I am wondering why that guy start building the project without chanote. Thats the style here. Start building and than ask for the papers. I doubt that this land have even Nor Sor 3 (past). Landpapers upgraded to Nor Sor 3, because this step must be to get chanote (illegally)

BenPendejo | 21 August 2019 - 20:53:59

It would also be telling to include a photograph of this nightmare development from down below.  What used to be a beautiful verdant slope has since been raped clean and replaced with concrete.  To think there are 18 more buildings that have yet to be started makes me sick to my stomach. Greed at its worst.

BenPendejo | 21 August 2019 - 20:50:47

It will be interesting to see how the power elite buy their way out of this one...as it seems it might not be as easy as it was to buy their way into it.  Two BIG thumbs up to MP Sira Jenjara for not being intimidated and pressing on with this.  Hopefully, he gets significant support from Thai citizens affected by this monstrosity of a project.

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