Women accused of border fraud 'had contact with almost 2,000 people'

Nadine Carroll
·2-min read

Almost 2000 people have reportedly been traced back to a group of women accused of lying about a trip to Melbourne in order to gain entry to Queensland.

The trio - two of which tested positive for coronavirus - sparked outrage after they allegedly lied to officials to pass border checks after visiting Victoria and Sydney.

Contact tracers have since identified the thousands of residents who may have been exposed to Diana Lasu and Olivia Muranga after they spent eight days in Brisbane while infectious, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The pair have since been forced to quarantine.

A third woman, Haja Timbo, who travelled with the pair, tested negative to COVID but has been placed into forced quarantine as a precaution.

Diana Lasu, (Left) and Olivia Muranga (Right)
Diana Lasu, (Left) and Olivia Muranga (Right) sparked widespread outrage after allegedly lying their way through border checks . Source: Today

The women visited restaurants, grocery stores, shopping malls, a medical practice and schools in the Logan, South Brisbane and Springfield areas between July 21 and July 28.

They have each been charged with a count of fraud and a count of providing false or misleading documents under the Public Health Act.

The fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of five years behind bars, while the second offence carries a maximum fine of $13,345.

A 27-year-old Bellbird Park man and his wife are believed to have caught the virus when eating at the same restaurant as the infected women, health authorities said.

They dined with his family at the Madtongsan IV Korean restaurant at Sunnybank on July 23.

"Along with five others who are being COVID-19 tested, they dined on a table adjacent to one of the recently identified cases who returned from Victoria," a Queensland Health spokesperson said in a statement.

The couple and their family, two of whom work in an aged care home, are in quarantine as authorities track down all their close contacts.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the Queensland border would be shut to people from Sydney from Saturday
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the Queensland border would be shut to people from Sydney from Saturday. Source: AAP

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was seething at the breach of COVID protocols as she announced the Queensland border would be shut to people from Sydney from Saturday.

"I'm absolutely furious that this has happened," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"We need people to tell the truth ... We do not want a second wave here. We do not want widespread community transmission.

"These two have been out in the community and hopefully it has not spread, but time will tell."

with AAP

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