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​Company awarded military land in several Vietnamese cities for realty projects

Thursday, July 05, 2018, 12:05 GMT+7
​Company awarded military land in several Vietnamese cities for realty projects
CTK Capital Investment JSC’s air force housing project in the central city of Da Nang. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The Vietnamese air force is raising eyebrows with its decision to grant one company the rights to develop commercial projects on military land in several Vietnamese cities.

The deal was made between the air defense branch of the Ministry of National Defense and CTK Capital Investment JSC, managed by CTK Group, allowing the developer to break ground on projects in sensitive areas in Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau City in southern Vietnam, and Da Nang in the central region.

CTK’s project in Ho Chi Minh City covers 60,000 square meters near Tan Son Nhat International Airport and is expected to include 132 houses with gardens, 46 villas, and a 12-story apartment complex with 830 flats.

Although construction is only in its initial phase, the firm has already sold dozens of plots to investors as a way to mobilize capital.

Though PR surrounding the project highlights housing for soldiers from Air Force Divisions 367 and 370 as the purpose for the development, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper uncovered that air force enlistment is not a requirement to purchase the properties.

The project developed by CTK in the southern city of Vung Tau. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The project developed by CTK in the southern city of Vung Tau. Photo: Tuoi Tre

73,000 square meters in Vung Tau

A similar situation is taking place in Thang Nhat Ward, Vung Tau City, where a projecte marketed as homes for members of the air force has broken ground on a 73,000 square meter plot.

The plan was first approved by the defense ministry in July 2013. Lieutenant General Phuong Minh Hoa, chief of the country’s air force, selected CTK as the developer a month later.

The defense ministry originally allocated only 62,000 square meters of military land to the air force.

However, the military branch raised the total area of the project to 73,000 square meters in 2014 with the consent of the People’s Committee of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

In April 2015, the Vung Tau administration approved the finalized plan of the project.

Currently, the plot appears to have been divided into separate areas with roads running through each. Utility posts have also been built at the site.

Locals said the infrastructure was constructed a long time ago.

An official from the People’s Committee in Thang Nhat Ward confirmed that about 40 households still live inside the project area.

These families illegally built their houses at the site ten years ago, the official continued.

The situation was never thoroughly dealt with due to the lax management of the military unit in charge, he added.

The project developed by CTK in the southern city of Vung Tau. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The project developed by CTK in the southern city of Vung Tau. Photo: Tuoi Tre

63,000 square meters in Da Nang

In Da Nang, Lt. Gen. Hoa previously picked CTK as the developer of a housing project for air force soldiers and their family members in 2011.

The project was carried out on an over 63,000 square meter land plot next to Da Nang International Airport.

Division 372 was tasked with carrying out a deal with CTK and completing necessary legal procedures.

According to the contract, Division 372, on behalf of the air force, contributes the 63,000 square meter land, divided into 414 parcels, while CTK spends money on the construction.

Upon completion, the military division received 65.1 percent of the project, and the rest belongs to the company.

The firm is allowed to sell their shares in the project as commercial real estate, and was only required to VND17.4 billion (US$756,030) worth of land use fees.

A model house within the CTK project near Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A model house within the CTK project near Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The mysterious CTK

Given the information Tuoi Tre has collected, it appears that CTK Capital Investment JSC was established solely to handle projects on military land with approval granted by the air force.

The firm was founded on May 16, 2011, a month after the defense ministry allowed the air force to use part of their military land in Ho Chi Minh City to build houses for their soldiers.

About three months later, the air force signed its first contract with CTK for the project in Da Nang, followed by the projects in Ho Chi Minh City and Vung Tau.

It is considered uncommon for a freshly founded company to be selected as the developer for several sensitive projects across the country.

During an interview with Tuoi Tre, Nguyen Van Hoa, chairman of CTK JSC, reiterated that the company has been strictly complying with the law while implementing the projects.

An official from the General Political Department of the People’s Army announced at a press meeting on Tuesday that they will look into the case and identify any individuals suspected of wrongdoing.

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Duy Khang / Tuoi Tre News

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