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​Alibaba realty firm under scrutiny for multiple violations in Ho Chi Minh City

Friday, December 01, 2017, 11:54 GMT+7

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction is cooperating with its police counterpart to investigate multiple violations by a local real-estate company, including coercing customers into ‘reserving’ units in an urban area project it doesn’t hold construction rights for.

Alibaba Real Estate JSC claimed to be the developer of Tay Bac Cu Chi, a residential area zoned in the city’s northwestern district of Cu Chi, and duped people into paying reservation fees to ensure the ability to buy land plots once the projected is implemented.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based realty company holds no relation to Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Inc, owned by billionaire Jack Ma.

The Tay Bac Cu Chi project is part of the bigger Tay Bac Cu Chi Urban Area project approved by the Ho Chi Minh City administration in 2013, according to the construction department.

However, as the municipal administration has yet to award a contract to any developer of the project, Alibaba Real Estate’s claim that they can provide reservations for land plots is a legal offence, according to a statement by Truong Cong Nam, deputy head of the construction department’s inspectorate, at a meeting on Thursday.

The planning of the Tay Bac Cu Chi Alibaba Real Estate uses to dupe customers.
The planning of the Tay Bac Cu Chi Alibaba Real Estate uses to dupe customers.

No site clearance or relocation tasks have been initiated in the area zoned for the project and many of the sites’ current residents have yet to relocate, Nam added, elaborating on Alibaba’s violations.

The inspectorate official said Alibaba has also “breached other regulations,” including violating several laws applicable to real-estate firms.

The construction department is consulting relevant agencies on plans to handle the case.  The city’s economic and criminal police units are also involved, Nam said.

 “This is an official information session to recommend that members of the public be wary against the activities of Alibaba Real Estate JSC,” Nam underlined.

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