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Operator fined for illegal guesthouse operation

     A woman was fined $5,000 at the Eastern Magistrates' Courts today (September 4) for contravening the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance.

     The court heard that in February this year, officers of the Office of the Licensing Authority (OLA), Home Affairs Department, inspected a suspected unlicensed guesthouse in King's Road, North Point. During the investigation, an OLA officer posed as a lodger and rented a room on a daily basis.

     According to the OLA's records, the guesthouse did not possess a valid certificate of exemption or licence under the Ordinance on the day of inspection. The female operator of the guesthouse was therefore charged with contravening section 5(1) of the Ordinance.

     A department spokesman stressed that it is a criminal offence to operate or manage an unlicensed guesthouse. Any person who is convicted of operating or managing 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 report suspected illegal guesthouses to the OLA through the OLA hotline (2881 7498), by email ( or by fax (fax number: 2504 5805) using the report form downloaded from the website (

Ends/Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:40


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