Sunday , February 25 2024

Developer arrested for illegal construction of 488 villas

Head of a HCMC property firm has been detained as police expanded investigation into violations at a “smart” housing project in the city’s neighbor Dong Nai Province.

Nguyen Khanh Hung, 45, chairman of LDG Investment JSC, is facing charges for deceiving customers, Dong Nai police announced Thursday.

His arrest is the latest development of an ongoing investigation into a series of violations at the Tan Thinh Residential Area in Dong Nai’s Trang Bom District.

Developed by the LDG Investment JSC, the project was approved in 2018 with 488 villas and 290 townhouses to be built on 18 hectares on a hill.

In 2020, when construction was underway, provincial inspectors found multiple rules had been violated by the developer.

LDG Investment had not obtained a construction permit, paid the owners of the rubber farm on which the project was being built or even obtained official ownership of the land. Procedures to repurpose the farmlands into a residential area had not been completed.

The inspectors went on to conclude that more than 20 officials in Trang Bom District had committed violations to allow the developer to flout the regulations.

The Central Steering Committee on Prevention and Control of Corruption and Negative Phenomena then listed the case among those to be investigated in November last year.

Tan Thinh was marketed as “Vietnam’s first smart urban area” with a school, parks, supermarkets, and a medical center.

In the beginning it attracted doves of potential buyers from HCMC, Binh Duong Province and Hanoi.

The inspectors found LDG had signed contracts to sell 60 villas and houses, both completed and half-finished, for VND132 billion (US$5.64 million).

Seven of the villas are occupied, and the owners said they are still provided with water and power.

They are frequently visited by police officers investigating the case, they said.

Villas at the the Tan Thinh Residential Area in Dong Nai’s Trang Bom District, April, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan

Villas at the Tan Thinh Residential Area in Dong Nai’s Trang Bom District, April 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan

After the inspections, Dong Nai fined the company VND540 million (US$23,100).

Prior to Hung’s arrest, four officials in Trang Bom District have been arrested to be investigated for abuse of power.

Established in 2010 with a charter capital of VND50 billion, LDG is the investor of many property projects in HCMC, Dong Nai and Binh Duong, including Viva Park, Viva City, LDG Sky.

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