Person and company convicted for illegally operating private columbarium

     A person and a company were convicted of illegally operating a private columbarium, contravening the Private Columbaria Ordinance, by the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts today (July 16). They were each fined $9,000, with a criminal record registered against the person.
     A spokesman for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) said today that the Private Columbaria Affairs Office (PCAO) of the FEHD had earlier detected that a columbarium in Cheung Pei Shan Road, Tsuen Wan, was suspected to have operated and managed a private columbarium without a licence under the Ordinance. An operation was thus mounted at the premises. The operators of the unlicensed columbarium were arrested and prosecuted.
     Under the Ordinance, any person who operates, keeps, manages or in any other way has control of a columbarium other 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.
     The spokesman said, "This department will continue to take stringent enforcement action against illegally operated private columbaria. Members of the public should not buy or rent niches from any unlicensed columbaria. If members of the public suspect any activities of illegally operating a columbarium, they should immediately report them to the PCAO by calling hotline 3142 2300."

Ends/Thursday, July 16, 2020
Issued at HKT 20:04