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August 24, 2010

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34 illegal hostels shut

LOCAL police revealed yesterday that 34 unlicensed hostels in the city have been closed following a crackdown.

The hostels, usually residential apartments converted into an inn, were hidden in densely-populated areas near the Shanghai South Railway Station, the city's major transport terminal in Xuhui District, police said.

They also nabbed 39 people who organized the illegal hostels. The campaign against underground hostels will continue, police said.

One officer explained that "the shortage of hotel rooms in the city during the World Expo due to the high density of visitors has given unscrupulous people the chance to set up hostels or inns, making it a profitable business."

An officer, surnamed Yu, said the hostel owners usually leased the apartments from the flat owners.

Each room in the flat would then be rented to visitors for 100 to 300 yuan (US$44.19) a day, police said.

One apartment could be divided into several smaller rooms, police said. Even the balcony could be used as a room.

Xuhui police said they have conducted 21 raids since April together with local industry authorities and community officials.


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