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COVID-positive removalists plead guilty


Three removalists who travelled to central western NSW from Sydney despite testing positive to COVID-19 have pleaded guilty in court.

Twins Roni and Ramsin Shawka, 28, and Maryo Shanki, 21, travelled from West Hoxton in southwest Sydney to Molong in central-west NSW and stopped in Figtree, South Bowenfels and Orange.

The removalists travelled to Molong in July despite discovering they were COVID-positive en route, police allege.

All three men pleaded guilty on Monday in Orange's Local Court to not complying with a COVID-19 notice direction.

Police escorted the men and their vehicles back to Greater Sydney where they were forced to isolate for two weeks.

Days later a southwest the Shawka brothers' mother died after contracting COVID-19.

The twins were forced to sit in a ute outside her Green Valley property while police conducted investigations inside the house.

NSW Police Minister David Elliott said the removalists had put regional communities at greater risk of the pandemic.

"We know that the delta variant is highly transmissible, and it is unfathomable to think that, with all the public information and health warnings, people could so blatantly ignore the health orders," he said in July.

The men have been listed for sentence before the same court on November 24.

© AAP 2021

Image: brownpau, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons (image for illustration purposes only)