Three young women linked to Logan cluster appear on fraud charges

Three Brisbane women who allegedly lied on border declaration forms to avoid quarantine after travelling to Melbourne have faced court.

Sep 28, 2020, updated Sep 28, 2020
Haja Timbo (Photo:AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Haja Timbo (Photo:AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Olivia Winnie Muranga, Diana Lasu and Haja Umu Timbo have each been charged with one count of fraud and one of providing false or misleading documents.

Two of the women tested positive for COVID-19 after all three travelled to the hotspot in July. A sister of one of the women also tested positive.

Authorities believed a man contracted the virus when he ate at a Sunnybank restaurant, also attended by one woman two days after her arrival in Brisbane.

His wife – who worked in a nursing home – later also tested positive.

Genomic testing was done in August to determine whether there was a link between the cluster sparked by the women from Logan, south of Brisbane, and one involving people connected to a Brisbane youth detention centre staff member who also tested positive.

Queensland’s chief health officer Jeannette Young said last month the clusters were of the same virus strain although there was a “missing link” between the two.

Health Minister Steven Miles later said the testing hadn’t proved a solid link between the two.

Muranga, 20, Lasu and Timbo, both 21, faced Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday for their first court appearance since being charged in July.

The women were given bail on their own undertaking.

The three women allegedly gave an emergency officer a Queensland border pass that contained false information stating they had not been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the previous 14 days, according to court documents.

They are also charged with fraud for allegedly dishonestly gaining a benefit of avoiding the mandatory 14 day self-quarantine at their own expense.

The three arrived at Brisbane Airport from Melbourne after a brief stopover in Sydney on July 21.

Lasu and Muranga’s matters have been adjourned to October 28.

Timbo’s case is listed again for October 21.

The three will not be required to appear in court if represented by their solicitors.


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