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Operator and managers fined for illegal guesthouse operations

     Five women were fined $3,000 to $4,000 respectively at Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts today (July 24) for contravening the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance (the Ordinance).

     The courts heard that officers of the Office of the Licensing Authority (OLA), Home Affairs Department, inspected five suspected unlicensed guesthouses in Shanghai Street, Portland Street and Sai Yeung Choi Street South in Mong Kok in January this year. OLA officers posed as lodgers and successfully rented rooms in these five guesthouses on a daily or hourly basis.

     According to the OLA's records, these guesthouses did not possess valid certificates of exemption or licences under the Ordinance on the days of inspection. Therefore, the five women responsible for operating or managing these premises were charged with contravening section 5(1) of the Ordinance.

     A department spokesman stressed that operating or managing an unlicensed guesthouse is a criminal offence and will lead to a criminal record. Upon conviction, the offender is liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and two years' imprisonment.

     He appealed to the public to report suspected illegal guesthouses to the OLA through the OLA hotline (2881 7498), by email ( or fax (fax number: 2504 5805) using the report form downloaded from the website (

Ends/Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:15


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