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Operator and manager fined for illegal guesthouse operation

     Two women were fined $8,000 and $3,000 respectively at the Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts today (May 2) for contravening the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance.

     The courts heard that in October last year, officers of the Office of the Licensing Authority (OLA), Home Affairs Department, inspected a suspected unlicensed guesthouse in Nathan Road, Mong Kok. The OLA officers posed as lodgers and rented a room in the guesthouse on a daily basis. Later during the investigation, officers found 10 rooms in the premises for rental.

     According to the OLA's records, the guesthouse did not possess a valid certificate of exemption or a license under the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance on the day of inspection. The female operator and the female manager of the guesthouse were charged with contravening section 5(1) of the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance.

     A department spokesman stressed that it is a criminal offence to operate or manage an unlicensed guesthouse. Any person who is convicted for operating an unlicensed guesthouse is liable to imprisonment. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a $200,000 fine and imprisonment for two years.

     He appealed to the public to dial the OLA hotline (2881 7498), send email ( or download a report form from the website ( to report suspected illegal guesthouses to the OLA via fax (fax number: 2504 5805).

Ends/Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:31


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