The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has closed down a Chinese restaurant known as KTV 86 Chinese Restaurant and Bar, for operating without a licence.
The facility, located at Labone, was raided by a joint team of the GTA enforcement team and the police on Monday, June 10 as part of the GTA’s nationwide enforcement exercise to enforce the Tourism Law L.I. 2238 and L.I 2239.
Apart from operating a restaurant which the GTA said was illegal, the owners of the facility were said to be operating a brothel as an undercover business behind the restaurant.
About 14 beds, comprising bunk beds and single beds, were found in three separate rooms and only Chinese nationals were said to be allowed to patronise the “brothel”.
The premises was unclean when Graphic Online accompanied GTA officials there and there was no management official of the restaurant around except some bar attendants and cleaners.
Speaking to Graphic Online, the Acting Manager in Charge of Operations at the GTA, Mr Michael Kpingbi, said they were informed by the police last Tuesday to come and assess the facility to identify if it had been licensed.
He said per their records, the facility was neither registered nor licensed.
“This facility is owned by some Chinese nationals and we had a tip-off from the police of some clandestine activities going on here; and as the GTA has been mandated to regulate the catering and the hospitality facilities, we quickly checked our records and we have nothing about them in our records meaning, they are operating illegally,” he said.
He added that the minimum requirement considered for the registration and licensing of hospitality facilities were also not met, thus the reason for the closure of the facility.
“However, the police have taken up the matter and already have in custody, a number of Chinese women in connection with their illegal operation,” he said.
The Head of Corporate Affairs of the GTA, Mr Jones Nelson, said the exercise was part of a nationwide enforcement exercise by the GTA to clamp down on tourism enterprises which were operating illegally.
He said the GTA was mandated by law to enforce the Tourism Act, 2008 (Act 817) to license and register all tourism facilities.
“We are ending the Accra exercise which we started last Monday. Our next stop will be Tema, the Central Region and then continue to other regions. However, Accra was specifically one-week due to the numbers; for the other regions, it could take two days or probably four days depending on the number of facilities in the region,” he said.
He added that the GTA had visited 106 facilities in the Greater Accra Region alone within one week.