The Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) have released their “Investigation report on the construction project at Alto de Coloane”. The report highlights the existing doubts concerning the exact location of the construction project and how this uncertainty has and will affect the land parcel’s title inheritance process.
The parcel involved with the construction project at Alto de Coloane has land description number 6150 and was located near Largo do Presidente António Ramalho Eanes in the old Coloane Village instead of being at Alto de Coloane. The actual area of the parcel was, at the most, only a few hundred square meters instead of 53,866 m2. and the registered parcel owner, from 1903, was Chui Lan.
In July 1991, residents in Coloane, Vong Tam Seng and Vong Tak Heng, represented by lawyer Paulo dos Remédios, brought a suit claiming their eligibility as the heirs to this land parcel to the court, claiming that Vong Tam Kuong, who was also named “Chui Lan,” was their grandfather. Vong Tam Seng and Vong Tak Heng made their formal request to inherit the title of the land parcel (description no. 6150).
In the April of 1999, the court ruled that the two were the only heirs of Vong Tam Kuong, and they eventually inherited the title of the parcel which was originally owned by Chui Lan.
“One cannot rule out the possibility that some people made use of judicial proceedings and falsely claimed to be the parcel owner’s descendants and obtained the title illegally,” the CCAC report says.
Vong Tam Seng and Vong Tak Heng sold the parcel to Chong Fai Properties Investment Company Limited for 150,000,000 patacas in October 1993.
After obtaining the title of the parcel with description number 6150 as an heir, Vong Tam Seng applied for two land boundary surveys, in 1992 and 1993 respectively, where he claimed that the parcel was located at Alto de Coloane adjacent to Estrada do Campo and Estrada de Seac Pai Van.
Vong Tam Seng claimed in the two applications that the area of the parcel was 111,848 square meters and 57,300 square meters respectively.
“The CCAC found in the investigation that in the legal proceedings of their eligibility confirmation, there was lack of evidence for the verification of statements,” the CCAC report reads.
Moreover, due to a complete lack of proof, the then Department for Cartography and Cadastre refused to issue a cadastral map.
In August 1994, Chong Fai Limited, after already having purchased the parcel, applied for a land boundary survey.
The then named Department for Cartography and Cadastre believed the parcel area was added to the property registration and that the location of the parcel was confirmed by the transcription certificate issued by the Financial Services. The department issued a cadastral map for the parcel as it was believed that the parcel’s location and destination were known.
The CCAC reports judged that since the information that the land boundary survey was based on was obviously at odds with reality, the administrative act of the confirmation of the boundary was groundless.
It continues by saying that the cadastral map issued by the then Department for Cartography and Cadastre is invalid, the report reads.
The CCAC considered that since the southern part of the site of the Alto de Coloane project adjacent to Estrada do Campo fell within the area of the planning laid down in Administrative Instruction no. 01/DSSOPT/2009, the permitted maximum building height should only be 8.9 m.
However, according to the street alignment plan issued by the DSSOPT, the permitted maximum building height was 100 m, which obviously contradicted the planning terms set forth in the administrative instruction.
“Moreover, the street alignment plan and the official building plan approved based on the relevant cadastral information is also invalid. The street alignment plan of the Alto de Coloane project went against the planning terms provided for in the administrative instruction. Therefore, the DSSOPT (Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau) should reject the application for the official building plan,” the report writes.
“The CCAC pointed out that if there was no problem or dispute concerning the title, location and area of the parcel where the Alto de Coloane project is located, the parcel owner might apply for a new planning proposal according to the Urban Planning Law and subsequent approval procedures might follow. However, since the parcel is a State property, whether the relevant street alignment plan is valid is now a minor problem.”
Finally, the CCAC claims that the parcel at Alto de Coloane adjacent to Estrada do Campo and Estrada de Seac Pai Van, where the construction project at Alto de Coloane is located, is not registered in the Real Estate Registry.
“Therefore, according to Article 7 of the Basic Law, it is a State property. The CCAC [have suggested that] the Macau SAR Government [should] recover the land parcel following appropriate procedure and method,” the CCAC report reads.
According to a statement released by the Gabinete do Porta-voz do Governo, the Chief Executive has already received the report and has decided to deliver the report to the Public Prosecution Office for further investigation.
CE refers report to Public Prosecutions Office
The Chief Executive, Chui Sai On, has decided to refer the report to the Public Prosecutions Office. According to a statement from the Government Information Bureau, Chui made the decision after an analysis of relevant laws, and with a view to safeguarding public land rights, as well as the legitimate rights of land owners. The issues raised in the CCAC report are “complicated and serious,” the statement read. Chui said he was highly concerned about issues raised in the report regarding demarcation of land in general, and in particular, the area involved in the Alto de Coloane construction project.