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22 Pinoys, including pub operator, held over sale of unlicensed liquor

04 October 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Of the 22 Filipinos arrested, 20 were women

A police spokeswoman told The SUN that the raid took place around 7pm on Oct 3.  Of the 22 Filipinos arrested, 20 were women. The 18 others were of various nationalities, the officer said.

The operator was reportedly held for selling unlicensed liquor, while the rest were booked for drinking the unlicensed alcohol.

Up until noon today, all those arrested were still in police custody as an investigation was ongoing.

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But as of 6:15pm, the police said all the 40 arrested persons, including the operator, had been released on police bail.

No charges have yet been filed, the spokeswoman said.

A video clip shared in a group chat on messenger showed police officers making the arrested persons line up on one side of the alley.


“Hands on the shoulder, hands on the shoulder,” an officer was heard instructing them.

A check with shop owners in the building identified the raided pub as one belonging to a Filipino who runs several karaoke bars in the alleys. One said it was an open secret that several establishments in the area sell liquor illegally.

Under Regulation 25A of the Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) Regulations, businesses cannot sell liquor for consumption in their premises if they are not licensed to do so.

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Regulation 32 of the same law prohibits any person from drinking liquor in the unlicensed premises.

Anyone drinking liquor in an unlicensed establishment can be arrested and fined

The manager of the unlicensed premises may be prosecuted for violating the licensing requirement for liquor sale, and if convicted, faces a maximum fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.

Those caught drinking the unlicensed liquor may be fined up to $2,000 on a summary conviction.

The raid came just hours after police and officers from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) conducted joint inspections of 40 catering premises, including dai pai dongs, in Sai Kung and Sham Shui Po.

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Following the inspections, officers initiated prosecution against seven business operators for violating social distancing regulations.

These anti-epidemic measures include: the number of customers at any premises must not exceed half of its normal seating capacity, no more than four persons may be seated together at one table at catering premises; a mask must be worn at all times within the premises, except when the person is consuming food or drink; and body temperature screening must be conducted before the person is allowed to enter the catering premises and hand sanitizers must be provided.

Licensees and operators found to have contravened the regulations face a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.

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