Operator and manager of unlicensed guesthouses sentenced to imprisonment and fined

     Two women were charged with contravening the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance at Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts today (July 17). One woman was sentenced to four weeks' imprisonment, and the other woman was fined $10,000.
     The courts heard that in December last year and January this year, officers of the Office of the Licensing Authority (OLA), the Home Affairs Department, inspected two suspected unlicensed guesthouses on Sai Yeung Choi Street South and Portland Street in Mong Kok. During the inspections, the OLA officers posed as lodgers and successfully rented rooms in these guesthouses on a daily basis.
     According to the OLA's records, these guesthouses did not possess licences under the Ordinance on the days of inspection. The women responsible for operating and 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.
     The spokesman appealed to anyone with information about suspected unlicensed guesthouses to report it to the OLA through 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, July 17, 2019
Issued at HKT 17:00