Alma Resort handing out invalid certificates

Besides anomalies at representative offices and unreasonable clauses in the contract, the certificate that Paradise Bay Resort Co., Ltd., the developer of Alma Resort in the central province of Khanh Hoa, gives to customers also contains confusing information that raises suspicions of fraud.

Alma Resort developer confuses customer with valueless “ownership certificate”

In a letter to VIR, a customer named S said that after signing the contract to own vacations at Alma Resort with Paradise Bay Resort Co., Ltd. and paying the deposit, he received a certificate of ownership issued by a company named Hutchinson Trustees based in the UK.

S said that Alma told him this certificate ensured that he could join an international club where he can exchange vacation weeks at Alma Resort for weeks at another hotel in another country.

However, the certificate offers a lot of opaque details. Specifically, “Hutchinson Trustees”, under the address 5 - 6 Priory Court, Tuscam Way, Camberley, Surrey, GU15 3YX, United Kingdom, and phone number: (+44) 1276 482000 is a vague contrivance from the get-go.

Searching “Hutchinson Trustees” on the company registry website of the UK government at https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/ returned three results, all at the same address: Hutchinson Trustees Limited, Hutchinson Trustees Secret Bay Residences Properties Limited, and Hutchinson Trustees (Lithuania) Limited.

These companies have one director in common, named “RICKARD, Anna Kathryn.” Of the three companies, according to the link, https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08206611/filing-history, Hutchinson Trustees Secret Bay Residences Properties Limited was dissolved in 2014. There is no information about their operation status of the remaining two.

Regardless of whether they are still in operation, the certificate that S received does not clarify if Rickard represents any, both or neither of these two companies. Judging by the stamp on the letter attached to the certificate, it may be Hutchinson Trustees Limited.

However, the address and phone number belong to yet another company with the website http://www.hutchtrust.co.uk called “Hutchinson & Co. Trust Company Ltd.”, with the email address enquiries@hutchtrust.co.uk, instead of enquiries@hutchtrust.com as written on the certificate. This company also has many directors, one of whom is RICKARD, Anna Kathryn.

Lawyer Tran Duc Phuong from the Ho Chi Minh City Lawyers’ Association said that this certificate does not have any legal value in Vietnam.

According to Decree No.111/2011/ND-CP issued by the government dated December 5, 2011, on certification and legalisation by the embassy, the certificate of Hutchinson Trustee has to be legalised by the Embassy of UK in Vietnam before being usable in the country.

As per Vietnamese laws, the certificate is invalid because a third party cannot certify a contract of renting a room or a villa, regardless of whether it is a Vietnamese or foreign company.

In fact, this certificate can be regarded as a notice about setting up an account at a company that facilitates people exchanging and selling vacations.

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By Viet Duong