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Thailand’s Tourist Police Chief Urges Foreign Buyers to Join Lawsuit Against Phuket Developer

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PHUKET – Pol Maj Gen Surachet Hakpal Deputy Commissioner of Tourist Police is urging foreigners who bought condominium units from an allegedly fraudulent developer in Phuket to file complaints after the developer was arrested.

Pol Maj Gen Surachet Hakpal said Sawit Ketrote, 46, was arrested on Tuesday for alleged public fraud after some buyers of condominium projects developed by his Emerald Development Group filed complaints against the company.

According to the Bangkok Post, the suspect, who is the firm’s managing director, allegedly had no intention of completing the projects, causing damage worth hundreds of millions of baht to about 300 customers.

Pol Maj Gen Surachet said the company had promoted the projects locally and overseas but missed their completion deadlines. Money was collected from customers and was later shared with about five agents, he said.

Most of the damaged parties were foreigners and police had already contacted them through their embassies and consular offices so they could also file complaints against the company.

Pol Maj Gen Surachet said the unfinished condominium projects are The Emerald Nirvana Paton-Kalim, The Emerald City Life Condo Patong, The Emerald Ao Nang Condominium (in Krabi province), The Emerald Terrace Condominium and The Emerald Central Condominium.

By Achadtaya Chuenniran