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Posted: 05 Apr 2010 | 6:00 am
According to a report by the Bangkok Post Chief Executive Officer of Purnavarna Resorts Co. Steven Granville has been arrested and charged with fraud.
A complaint filed with Thailand's Crime Suppression Department by a Singapore national who represents 19 property purchasers alleges damages of THB 217 million over the non delivery of units in the development which commenced in 2005 and was to have completed in 2008.
While bail has been set at THB 10 million, Mr. Granville has deferred a release; and comments in the media have been made that further suspects may be included in the Criminal Court case.
The Purnavarna case unravel a rather bizarre circumstance which saw the group launch a Rawai based luxury estate development which offered 10% annual guaranteed returns and over the past few years continued to offer a number of varying promotional strategies to generate real estate sales.
While some villa units have been partially completed, construction on site ceased a few years ago. The group continued an aggressive expansion plan back of the acquisition of the Royal Phuket Yacht Club Resort from Lehman's at the height of the property boom.
Since that time it has continued to operate the hotel and last year launched fractional sales of resort units within that property. It has also renamed the original Purnavanra luxury estate as "The Summer Palace."
According to local sources one of the group's major investors is a high profile Spanish football club who have reportedly been trying to recoup their investment in recent times. Market analysts have commented that the group's only operating asset, the resort has been on the market at a figure which was considered to be well above existing valuations. Additionally concerns by interested parties have been voiced about the ability to obtain vacant possession due to the units which have allegedly been sold to individuals.
Expect more news on this case in the coming days, and the specter of vulture hotel asset buyers can already be seen circling Nai Harn beach. As for the Phuket property market certainly the adverse publicity which looks set to go international is not a welcome sight.
A column featuring environmental issues and conservation around the island. Click here for more Green Reports check out the latest story from the leading experts:
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