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Managers of unlicensed guesthouses sentenced
     Two men and three women were charged with contravening the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance at Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts today (November 2). One man was sentenced to two months' imprisonment, suspended for two years. The other man and the three women were fined from $8,000 to $10,000.

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

     According to the OLA's record, these guesthouses did not possess licences under the Ordinance on the days of inspection. The men and 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 anyone with information about suspected unlicensed guesthouses to report it to the OLA by the hotline (Tel: 2881 7498), by email (hadlaenq@had.gov.hk), by fax (2504 5805) using the report form downloaded from the OLA website (www.hadla.gov.hk), or through the mobile application "Hong Kong Licensed Hotels and Guesthouses".
Ends/Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:34
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