NSW Police Commissioner, Mike Fuller, has started a criminal investigation to find out if biosecurity laws were broken following the now-infamous cruise ships’ docking in Sydney last month.
2,700 passengers freely disembarked the Ruby Princess in Circular Quay on 19 March, while many were showing cold and flu-like symptoms.
The ship was proven to have been a ‘hotbed’ for infections, and the disembarking passengers caused nearly 10 percent of Australia’s total cases and over 30 percent of the nation’s total deaths.
In a press conference on 5 April, Commissioner Fuller focused his attention on the ship’s parent company, Carnival Corporation & plc—questioning whether they correctly declared the situation on the ship before it was allowed to dock.
“The key question that remains unanswered … was Carnival transparent in contextualising the true patient and crew health conditions relevant to COVID-19?” the Commissioner said.
Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton also questioned the information given to port authorities by Carnival.
“It’s clear that some of the companies have been lying about the situation of the health of passengers and crew on board,” Mr Dutton said.
Carnival Corporation & plc said they will be cooperating with the investigation.
“We have seen the Police Commissioner’s announcement,” a spokesperson for Carnival said.
“In addition to willingly participating in the investigation, Carnival Australia will vigorously respond to any allegations of which there must now be full disclosure and the basis for them.”