Trio in court over alleged COVID border breach
Three women accused of sparking a cluster of coronavirus cases across southeast Queensland after allegedly lying about travelling to COVID-riddled Melbourne have faced court this morning.
The women, Diana Lasu, Olivia Muranga and Haja Timbo are all facing charges of fraud and providing false or misleading documents after they allegedly flew into Brisbane in July, having spent time in Melbourne, misleading authorities about where they had been.
It's alleged the trio travelled to Melbourne in July where they hosted an Airbnb party in a Melbourne CBD apartment despite the city being in hard lockdown.
Two days later they allegedly lied to get back into Queensland and flew back through Sydney, meaning they did not have to isolate.
It's understood Muranga and Lasu were infected with COVID-19 and moved freely around the community while infected with the coronavirus for eight days before they were detected by authorities and placed under police guard in hospital.
At the time, Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said she was "bitterly disappointed" Queensland had been put at risk by the women.
"They went to extraordinary lengths to be deceitful and deceptive and quite frankly criminal in their behaviour and that is what has put the community at risk," she said.
The women's re-entry into Queensland came just two days after they were busted hosting a loud and drunken party at a short-term rental in Melbourne's CBD.
The virus-riddled city was in hard lockdown when they were found with a group of up to 30 people at the city apartment.
Police responding to a noise complaint busted up the party, removed them all from the rental property and handed out more than $30,000 in fines.
The trio were told they'd breached Victoria's health directives and fined $1652.
All three women were all due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning for the first mention of their charges.
Lasu's case was the first to be mentioned and her lawyer asked for her matter to be adjourned for four weeks to allow for case conferencing with prosecutors.
Her matter was adjourned to October 28.
Muranga's lawyer has also asked for her matter to be adjourned to the same date.
She will also have her case mentioned on October 28. The women will not be required to appear if represented by their lawyers.
Timbo's matter was adjourned to October 21. Her lawyer Rebecca Fogerty asked for the case to be adjourned for three weeks to allow her time to make submissions to prosecutors.