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Operator and managers of unlicensed guesthouses fined
     Two women and a man were fined from $10,000 to $15,000 at the Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts today (September 4) for contravening the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance.
     The courts heard that from February to April this year, officers of the Office of the Licensing Authority (OLA), the Home Affairs Department, inspected three suspected unlicensed guesthouses on Wong Chuk Street in Sham Shui Po, Changsha Street in Mong Kok and Nam Kok Road in Kowloon City. During the inspections, the OLA officers posed as lodgers and successfully rented rooms or "capsule-like accommodation" 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 man and 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, September 4, 2019
Issued at HKT 18:00
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