A retired police officer on Wednesday started knocking down his illegal villa on Da Nang's forest land, after local authorities refused to consider his plea to keep the luxury house.
Phan Nhu Thach, former police chief of the nearby Quang Nam Province, was ordered to demolish the three-story villa that he built near a stream on the edge of the Nam Hai Van Forest without any permit.
A group of workers was seen razing the imposing house on Wednesday, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
The demolition is expected to finish in a few days.
A member of his family told local media earlier that they would strictly obey the local government’s order.
Thach's villa before the demolition on March 4, 2015. Photo credit: PLO
Both Thach and Ngo Van Quang, a gold mining tycoon whose stilt houses were also unlawfully built nearby, have paid fines between VND40 and 50 million (US$1,873-2,342) for their violations
Quang has yet to have his construction demolished.
Thach’s family reportedly had been granted three hectares of forest land in the Nam Hai Van Forest, which cannot be used for residential purposes, and sold 1.5 hectares to Quang.
Quang built his complex worth over VND100 billion ($4.68 million) in the area at the foot of Hai Van Mountain in Da Nang's Lien Chieu District.
Local inspectors checked the construction of Thach's villa at least once in 2013, but he was still allowed to continue.
He retired last September.