The four-man movers were already in Orange when NSW Health called to inform Roni that he had tested positive for the highly contagious Indian Delta strain. Here is a map of their route to see
THURSDAY – Four movers leave West Hoxton in Sydney’s southwest and travel to Figtree, near Wollongong.
Their boss at On Time Removals, Aram Yousif, asks them to take a Covid test before heading to the far west of the state, on the next leg of their journey.
Mr Yousif was told: ‘Aram we are perfectly healthy, we have no symptoms, why should we do the test?’
The movers are being tested but are reportedly moving on to Orange, in the NSW Central West, rather than isolating as required by law.
FRIDAY – At about 2.30pm, police in Molong spoke to the movers after receiving a tip they had received from south-west Sydney.
Police determine that the men had traveled from West Hoxton to Figtree, near Woolongong, and then to Molong.
The officers learned that the men reportedly had pit stops in South Bowenfels and Orange en route.
Officers claim that one of the crew members in Orange received a call from NSW Health saying they had tested positive for Covid-19.
Three of the men then proceeded to Molong, police said.
Those men – twins Roni and Ramsen Shawka, both 27, and Maryo Shanki, 21 – were charged with violating health regulations and were returned to Sydney.
SATURDAY – The crew has been criticized by Police Secretary David Elliott, who described their alleged actions as an “inscrutable” and “blatant” violation of the law.
“This ill-considered act has now placed our regional communities in New South Wales with the greatest risk to date with this pandemic,” Mr Elliott said in a press release announcing the allegations.
Elliott warns that the men could face up to six months in prison and/or a $11,000 fine if found guilty of violating public health orders.
Both Roni Shakwa and his boss, Mr Yousef, tell the media that the crew spoke poor English and that what happened was a misunderstanding.
Roni told The Daily Telegraph he felt ‘very bad’ about traveling with the virus so far, but said ‘it’s not my fault’.
Mr Shawka said he was driving in Orange when he got a call from an NSW Health saying to stop working and go home.
“I gave them my boss’s number, I told them my language isn’t very good,” said Mr. Shawka.
“I (didn’t) kill anyone…I was (did) my job, I swear to God I didn’t know (I was positive).”
MONDAY – The twins’ mother, Saeeda Shawka, is found dead at home in Green Valley.
Her children have to be quarantined in the car on the street in front of the parental home until six o’clock.
In a statement, NSW Health confirmed that Ms Shawka was Covid positive at the time.
“NSW Health is sadly reporting today the death of a woman in her 50s who was a confirmed case of Covid-19,” a representative said.
“She was a resident of southwestern Sydney and a close contact with a Covid case.”