22 Pinoys, operator nabbed in ‘alley-alley’ bar

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The entrance to alley-alley in Central. (Photo: Google Maps)

Police apprehended 41 people, including a bar operator, in Li Yuen Street West—more popularly known as Alley-Alley among Filipino nationals—in Central on Saturday evening.

Of the 41, 22 were Filipinos, a police spokeswoman told Hong Kong News. The bar owner, a 58-year-old Filipino, was held for selling liquor without a license in an illegal bar, she said.

Over 900 alcoholic drinks without licenses were also seized, amounting to HK$22,000.

A video of the Filipinos has been circulating on social media, showing the persons apprehended being asked to line up in the street by police officers.

The Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) Regulations states that liquor cannot be sold for consumption in any premises without a license.

The ordinance also states police may arrest any person drinking liquor in any premises if a liquor license cannot be produced by the bar operator.

A bar operator, if convicted for selling liquor in unlicensed premises, may face a fine of $1,000,000 and imprisonment for two years. Those found drinking in those premises may be fined HK$2,000 upon summary conviction.

The apprehension comes as the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced it stepped up inspections in catering businesses, including dai pai dongs, in Sham Shui Po and Sai Kung to check their compliance with social distancing measures.