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Three Queensland women charged over alleged false border declarations

ABC Health logo ABC Health 30/07/2020

Charges have been laid against three women at the centre of a COVID-19 alert in South East Queensland, police say.

They had been in Melbourne and returned to Brisbane via Sydney last week, but skipped quarantine.

Police said a 19-year-old woman from Heritage Park, a 21-year-old woman from Acacia Ridge and a 21-year-old woman from Algester have been charged with providing false and misleading border documents, and fraud.

All three women are in quarantine.

Olivia Winnie Muranga and Diana Lasu have tested positive to coronavirus.

At this stage, the third woman who travelled in the group has not tested positive to COVID-19.

Police have alleged all three provided incorrect information on a Queensland border declaration pass.

Queensland Health is tracing where they had been in the eight days since they arrived back in the state.

The women will face the Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 28.

Police said all three women are now cooperating with authorities.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said police would allege the trio deceived authorities in order to cross the border.

"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," she said.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said police would allege the women "deliberately falsified records to get back into Queensland".

He said the women allegedly went to Victoria, went to a party with between 20 and 30 others, and then returned to Queensland.

"Our focus now is working with those young women to identify everywhere that they have been since they have come back into Queensland," he said.

Police said 95,000 people have come through Queensland's air borders since restrictions were relaxed on July 10.

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