On Friday night, police and officers from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department raided the two sites, located at Kau Wah Keng in Mei Foo.

During the operation, officers issued fixed penalty tickets of HK$5,000 to 82 diners and issued warnings for breaching the group cap to 727 diners who were there.

Two operators and 15 staffers were arrested by officers for fraud and possessing radiocommunications apparatus without a license.

Officers from FEHD arrested the two operators at the same time for operating a food business without a license and breaching the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation.

The 17 have been released on bail and must report to police in mid-December.

Police also issued 18 traffic tickets and towed away a private car.

Police added that the two barbecue sites in Kau Wah Keng are not licensed food businesses, and the operators do not have any certificates on fire safety or food making.

Similar joint operations have been conducted four times since January, police added, urging citizens not to visit unlicensed barbecue sites over safety and public health concerns.