Three women who travelled to Victoria and lied on their border declaration passes in order to get back into the sunshine state without going into quarantine have now been charged.
The three women are now at the centre of a coronavirus scare in the South East after spending eight days visiting various restaurants, shops and other venues across Logan, Brisbane and Ipswich.
Two of them have since tested positive to COVID-19, while the sister of one of those women has also been diagnosed with the virus.
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Following an investigation into their actions, which were described by the Police Commissioner as “deceitful” and “criminal”, the trio have now been charged for allegedly providing false information on their border declarations.
“Police will allege that all three women travelled to Victoria and deliberately provided misleading documents at the Queensland border,” police said.
A 19-year-old Heritage Park woman, a 21-year-old Acacia Ridge woman and a 21-year-old Algester woman have all been charged with one count each of providing false or misleading documents, which carries a maximum $13,345 fine.
The women have also been charged with fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
One of the three women was earlier refusing to tell health officials where she had been after touching down in Brisbane, which hampered contact tracing efforts, however police have since confirmed “all three women are now cooperating with QPS and Queensland Health officials”.
The trio remain in quarantine and are due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 28.
A separate criminal investigation is also currently underway, which police say is unrelated and not connected to the alleged travel to Victoria.
“There is no further information available at this time in relation to the ongoing criminal investigation,” Qld police said.
The behaviour of the women has been slammed by the state’s top cop, who says she is “very disappointed”.
“They went to extraordinary lengths to be deceitful and deceptive and quite frankly, criminal in their behaviour and it has put the community at risk,” Commissioner Carroll said.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was of similar opinion, telling reporters she remains “angry”.
“Most people are doing the right thing. It is unbelievable to think that Queenslanders are putting other Queenslanders at risk,” the Premier said.
“That’s what really annoys me here and there’s a social responsibility for everyone to do the right thing.
“These are people who deliberately went about doing the wrong thing.”