The family of a gold mining magnate in central Vietnam has guaranteed to pull down a multimillion-dollar palace he had built without permission by next February, finally enabling local authorities to finish their desperate handling of the illegal estate.
Ngo Van Quang, director of a gold company based in Quang Nam Province, had repeatedly asked to extend the deadline to demolish his VND100 billion (US$4.58 million) palace, illegally constructed inside the boundaries of a special-use forest near the Hai Van Mountain in Da Nang City.
He even did not show up at a Monday meeting with the administration of Lien Chieu District, where the palace is situated, which was seen as the last meeting to fold the case, as he was not in the locale then.
However, his family guaranteed on his behalf at the meeting that the bulky estate will bite the dust no later than February 2016.
“The family will tear down the palace of their own accord,” Dam Quang Hung, deputy chairman of Lien Chieu District, confirmed after the meeting.
The demolition is to follow a directive the Da Nang administration issued in February 4, which eventually failed to be realized on time due to repeated petitions filed by Quang to retain his palace.
The gold mining magnet should have demolished the property within 35 days from February 4, according to the fiat.
But he managed to win approval to extend the deadline to August 30, then November 30, through a number of appeals, including one submitted to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung late last month.
The Da Nang administration in fact had to delay the demolition pending an order from the premier when it was only days away from the November 30 deadline.
While authorities in Da Nang are totally authorized to handle an illegal construction in the locale, the public wondered why the municipal administration failed to settle down the case sooner.
In late 2014, when the costly palace of Quang was discovered, the administration of Lien Chieu District also found Major General Phan Nhu Thach, former director of the Quang Nam Police Department, having a 4,000 hectare villa built without permission on the same mountain.
Authorities then fined the owners of both properties VND22.5 million ($1,000) each for the illegal construction work, and demanded that they clear their buildings.
While Thach obeyed the order, having his villa dismantled in March, Quang has repeatedly called on different agencies to keep his building.