FEHD smashes a private columbarium in Yau Ma Tei suspected of operating without a licence

     ‚ÄčThe Private Columbaria Affairs Office (PCAO) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) cracked down on a private columbarium suspected of operating without a licence in Yau Ma Tei this afternoon (January 23).

     The operator in this case was suspected of operating a private columbarium, including renting out niches, without a licence under the Private Columbaria Ordinance (the Ordinance).

     The Court has issued a search warrant to PCAO officers to authorise them to search the captioned premises. During the operation, PCAO officers seized a number of exhibits and arrested a 64 years-old man. Meanwhile, investigation is still ongoing.

     Under the Ordinance, any person who operates, keeps, manages or in any other way has control of a columbarium otherwise than under a licence commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $2 million and imprisonment for three years; or on conviction on indictment to a fine of $5 million and imprisonment for seven years.

     A spokesman for the FEHD said, "This department will continue to take stringent enforcement actions against illegally operated private columbaria. Members of the public should not buy or rent niches from any unlicensed private columbaria.

     "If members of the public detect any activities of illegally operating a private columbarium, they should immediately report to the FEHD by calling hotline 2868 0000."

Ends/Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Issued at HKT 19:40