Three Queensland women charged for 'lies' about trip to Victoria

Nick Whigham
·Assistant News Editor
·2-min read

Three women at the centre of Queensland’s latest coronavirus outbreak have been charged by police for providing false information to authorities.

Police will allege that all three women travelled to Victoria and deliberately provided misleading documents at the Queensland border.

A 19-year-old Heritage Park woman, a 21-year-old Acacia Ridge woman and a 21-year-old Algester woman were all charged on Thursday afternoon, police said in a statement.

Despite reports two women were aged 19, police confirmed to Yahoo News Australia their ages.

Olivia Winnie Muranga and Diana Lasu tested positive after returning from Melbourne without going into quarantine, while the identity of the third woman is unknown.

Olivia Winnie Muranga and Diana Lasu, were charged with lying on border declaration forms. Source: Facebook
Olivia Winnie Muranga and Diana Lasu, were charged with lying on border declaration forms. Source: Facebook

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.

Police said all three women are now cooperating with state health officials as they try to trace their recent movements since returning to the state via Sydney.

Earlier, police said one of the virus-positive women was upfront about where she had been in recent weeks, but the other had refused to give authorities her details.

Police believe they attended a party while in Victoria, and say all three women are now cooperating with them and Queensland Health officials.

All three women are currently in quarantine and are due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 28.

A criminal investigation is also proceeding, which is unrelated and not connected to their alleged travel to Victoria.

A massive contact tracing mission is underway after they visited shopping centres, restaurants, a school and a church, while aged care centres have been closed.

The state recorded an additional three new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was seething at the breach of COVID-19 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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