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Police raid Ruby Princess cruise ship over virus scandal

National

NSW police have raided the infamous Ruby Princess cruise ship to question crew about how thousands of passengers were let off to help spread coronavirus around Australia.

 

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The ship is the focus of a NSW police criminal investigation after it docked in Sydney three weeks ago and 2700 passengers were allowed to disembark.

The Ruby Princess is now linked to at least 12 deaths and more than 600 infections across Australia.

The ship docked earlier this week at Port Kembla south of Sydney, with about 200 of its 1000 crews believed to have coronavirus symptoms, and 18 testing positive so far.

Detectives in protective clothing today boarded the vessel to seize evidence and question crew members about the scandal.

In coming days police will interview other high-priority witnesses, while the vessel is expected to remain in port for 10 days

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said about three-quarters of the crew had indicated they wish to remain on board the ship.

“Ships have a black box very similar to that of international planes and that and other evidence has been seized for further investigation, and that is just sort of part one of the investigation,” Fuller said.

Three Ruby Princess passengers have become Tasmania’s three virus fatalities.

Tasmanian premier Premier Gutwein said enforcing stay-at-home rules over Easter was now the state’s focus as it dealt with an outbreak of COVID-19 across two hospitals.

“To be frank, today the gloves come off. We are going to police this. The period of education is over,” he said.

“If you go to a shack and you don’t have a reasonable excuse to be there, you will be asked to leave. If you don’t, you will be summonsed and charged.

“Do not be surprised if you face the full front of the law over this weekend.”

-with AAP

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