Police allege a man travelled from a COVID-19 hotspot in Sydney to Canberra where he tried to flee officers before being caught with cocaine and almost $4000 in cash.
ACT Policing allege Walid Haydari, 29, refused to stop his car in Bunda Street, Civic, at about 1:50 am on Sunday (8 August) when police directed him to do so.
He allegedly drove into Tocumwal Lane before abandoning his car and running into Petrie Plaza where he was arrested after a short pursuit on foot.
When police searched Mr Haydari, who they said was from the Western Sydney suburb of Carramar, they allegedly found a substance suspected of being cocaine.
“Further enquiries revealed he was in the ACT in breach of the current Public Health Directions banning people travelling from the Greater Sydney Area to the ACT,” according to police.
Mr Haydari appeared over the phone in the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday (9 August). The court heard he had also allegedly been found with $3700 in cash suspected of being unlawfully obtained.
His Legal Aid lawyer, Georgia Le Couteur, said her client had come to Canberra for work and had lived in the city since 2016.
She said he had an ACT address and wanted to continue working in the city after quarantining.
He applied for bail, which was not opposed by the prosecution. Magistrate Robert Cook said while he could not refuse bail he had “real concerns about it”.
He asked Mr Haydari how long he had been living at an address in Weston, to which Mr Haydari replied that he had moved in two days ago, on Saturday.
Magistrate Cook granted bail. But later that day, the court heard My Haydari had requested he return to Sydney rather than stay in the ACT while his case proceeded, which the prosecution did not object to.
Magistrate Cook granted the bail variation, allowing Mr Haydari to live at an address in Carramar.
He has been charged with failing to comply with a direction by the chief medical officer, failing to stop a motor vehicle for police, possessing a drug of dependence and unlawful possession of stolen property. The case was adjourned to 31 August to enter pleas.