Australian police in hazmat suits raided the Ruby Princess cruise ship on April 8, in an investigation into Australia’s worst COVID-19 cluster. Over 620 people have tested positive and 15 have died in cases linked to the ship—more than one-third of Australia’s 51 deaths from the virus.
New South Wales (NSW) Police Force organized a team of detectives and conducted a raid on the Ruby Princess at night, where the ship is docked at Port Kembla, south of Sydney.
The team consisted of 30 detectives from various departments including State Crime, Counter-Terrorism and Special Tactics, and Marine Area Commands. They questioned the captain and crew, and seized evidence for further inquiry into the homicide probe.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said that the team seized the black box which is very similar to that of planes. “That and other evidence has been seized for further investigation,” he told a reporter for Reuters. He said the captain and crew had been “extremely helpful.”
The raid is part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the docking and disembarking of the ship on March 19.
Local Communities Send Care Packages
Fuller also expressed a warm appreciation to the local community who have sent care packages to the crew members.
The Port Kembla Mission to Seafarers charity has been organizing care packages from the local community in the southern area to lift spirits of those onboard.
“Local community have dropped off a number of care packages at the port for the crew members which I think speaks volumes,” said Fuller.
NSW police are expected to remain at the port for 10 days, and the crew of over 1,000 from 50 countries remain onboard.