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Women fined for managing illegal guesthouses

     Two women were each fined $8,000 at the Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts today (September 24) for contravening the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance.

     The courts heard that officers of the Office of the Licensing Authority (OLA), Home Affairs Department, inspected two suspected unlicensed guesthouses in Argyle Street in Mong Kok in January and March this year respectively. OLA officers posed as lodgers and successfully rented rooms in the guesthouses on a daily basis.

     According to the OLA's records, the guesthouses did not possess licences under the Ordinance on the days of inspection. Therefore, the women responsible for managing the premises respectively 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 by fax (fax number: 2504 5805) using the report form downloaded from the website (

Ends/Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:30


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