Women fined for managing illegal guesthouse

     Two women were each fined $8,000 at the Eastern Magistrates' Courts today (May 5) 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 a suspected unlicensed guesthouse on Lee Garden Road in Causeway Bay in November last year. OLA officers posed as lodgers and successfully rented a room in the premises on a daily basis.

     According to the OLA's records, the guesthouse did not possess a licence under the Ordinance on the day of inspection. Therefore, the two women responsible for managing the 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 (hadlaenq@had.gov.hk) or by fax (fax number: 2504 5805) using the report form downloaded from the website (www.hadla.gov.hk).

Ends/Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:20