Property developer arrested in southern Vietnam for scamming customers

By Truong Ha   January 13, 2020 | 07:15 am PT
Property developer arrested in southern Vietnam for scamming customers
A house in Thai Binh Villa project under construction in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. Photo courtesy of Giao Thong (Transport) newspaper.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau police arrested a real estate developer Monday to investigate charges he misappropriated the properties of his customers.

Pham Quoc Dung, chairman of HCMC-based private firm Thanh Binh Consulting Service and Trading Company, is alleged to have misused the land use right certificates of his customers.

Dung, 53, gave the land use certificates of his customers to a "third party" for the latter to use as collateral for loans. The identity of the third party has not been revealed.

Dung was the investor for the Thai Binh Villa project in Commune 10, Vung Tau Town, the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. The project, approved by provincial authorities in 2006, spans over 20 hectares, 35 percent of which is earmarked for parks and trees.

In mid-2019, dozens of people who bought land from Dung's project accused Thanh Binh Company of not giving them the land use right certificates even after signing contracts for the transfer.

The customers said they had paid almost all the money for the purchase and the housing development has been completed.

Thai Binh Company is said to have helped the third party borrow hundreds of billions of Vietnamese dong (VND1 billion = $43,160) from banks using the land use right certificates as collateral. When the loans were not repaid, the banks organized auctions to sell the collateral.

Details of subsequent developments have not been revealed.

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