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Crime in Hong Kong

Unlicensed Hong Kong travel agent given community service order after selling invalid air tickets

Woman sold same air ticket to 16 customers for a flight to Seoul

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 September, 2017, 5:08pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 September, 2017, 5:38pm

A Hong Kong woman who left 16 Seoul-bound travellers rejected at the airport check-in desk after selling them copies of the same flight ticket was given 80 hours of community service by a court on Monday.

The West Kowloon Court heard Fung Tsz-ching, 24, had agreed in 2015 to help her friend arrange tickets and accommodation for a five-day trip to South Korea at a cost of HK$80,000, through a travel agency she had set up in the country.

The travellers were then given electronic tickets just hours before the flight on January 27 last year, only to realise at the check-in desk that they had been given invalid tickets, all bearing the same number.

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They eventually boarded a flight to Busan, after Fung went to the airport to fix the tickets and pledged to give them compensation.

Subsequent investigations revealed that Fung’s travel agency had yet to obtain a license.

Fung, who had no prior convictions, pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count of conducting business as a travel agent without a licence, and another of supplying services with a false trade description.

Acting Principal Magistrate So Wai-tak had slammed the offence as serious and “extremely irresponsible”. But on Monday he adopted a probation officer’s recommendation to give Fung community service after hearing that she had learned a valuable lesson.

The court also heard that Fung had since changed career.

Conducting business as a travel agent without licence is punishable by a HK$100,000 fine and two years’ imprisonment.