Two rich Melbourne Demons superfans behind bars in Perth accused of sneaking into WA to watch the AFL Grand Final now also face charges in Darwin.
Northern Territory police issued an order for the pair to face court for allegedly using false documents to enter Western Australia by claiming to be NT residents.
Bar owner Hayden Burbank, 49, and finance boss Mark Babbage, 38, entered Darwin from Melbourne on September 14 before arriving in Perth on September 22.
Upon arrival at Darwin Airport, NT police allege Burbank and Babbage filled out a border entry form and agreed to self-quarantine and Covid-19 testing.
But after further investigations, police allege that the pair did not self-isolate while waiting to receive their test results.
The pair were issued with a summons for four offences relating to fraud and Covid-19 breaches (Pictured: Burbank and Babbage photographed celebrating by an AFL photographer and was uploaded on their official Instagram page)
Burbank and Babbage also allegedly presented fake documents to receive driver’s licenses and open banks accounts in the Territory.
Burbank told a friend he obtained an NT driver’s licence months earlier in case the Demons made the grand final.
The pair were issued with a summons for breaching the Covid emergency declaration, providing a false name or misleading information, knowingly using a forged document, and criminal deception to obtain benefit.
NT Police Commander Sachin Sharma said the pair went ‘to great lengths to circumvent the chief health officer’s directions, designed to keep our community safe, and in doing so have committed serious crimes’.
‘To put yourself above the rest of Australia just to attend a football match is quite frankly staggering and they will face court for it,’ he said.
Commander Sharma said NT Police are working with officers in WA to investigate Babbage and Burbank’s alleged crimes.
Burbank and Babbage celebrate the Demons win inside the change rooms after allegedly illegally entering WA to watch their team in the Grand Final
Two Victorian mates accused of sneaking into Perth last month to watch the AFL Grand Final have been issued with an order to face court by NT Police (Pictured left: Mark Babbage. Right: Hayden Burbank)
WA Police arrested the men for other alleged Covid-19 violations, where they were remanded in custody until October 13.
‘I would like to reassure the community that these men did not arrive from a hotspot in Victoria and have since returned negative Covid test results,’ Commander Sharma added.
‘There is no risk to the Northern Territory community and the police will continue to have a zero tolerance for any such activities.’
Burbank and Babbage were ordered to appear in Darwin Local Court on November 16.
Burbank and Babbage filmed themselves cheering seconds after the final siren of the match.
‘Yes, we f**king did it’, ‘Oh, my God’ and ‘Come on Demons’ they exclaimed in celebration after the Melbourne Demons won their first grand final in 57 years.
Other photos of the pair include them drinking with Demons stars in the changerooms and holding the premiership cup on the field.
The pair were in an area reserved for past players and members, prompting concerns about how secure the Demons’ Covid bubble was.
The club is investigating how they got into the exclusive area. Just 100 names were on the guestlist, but Burbank and Babbage were not among them.
Burbank and Babbage were undone when they were photographed by an AFL photographer and the picture posted to the league’s official Instagram page with the caption ‘how good’.
The Demons fanatics in blue and red Demons guernseys were in the changerooms with Burbank holding a beer in one hand and the other around star midfielder Alex Neal-Bullen.
Police were tipped off about the photo, rumoured to be by the partner of a grand final player banned from attending the match, and launched a statewide manhunt.
Millionaire bar owner Burbank and his financial planner friend Babbage filmed themselves cheering seconds after the final siren on Saturday
‘As far as the club is concerned, the only people that should’ve been in there, were the 75 in the travel party and 100 people who were approved to receive a wristband,’ Melbourne football club chief executive Gary Pert said.
‘I don’t know how someone gets in if they are not on the list… There were a lot of key people we would’ve loved to have in the room but we needed to meet the AFL guidelines.’
Western Australian Police tracked down Burbank and Babbage on Tuesday morning, near Margaret River just hours after launching the search.
Police allege they falsely claimed to be residents of the Northern Territory, which has an open border with Western Australia.
‘Mr Burbank and Mr Babbage recently arrived from interstate and are suspected of failing to comply with a direction under the Emergency Management Act,’ WA Police said in a statement.
It is alleged the information they provided on their G2G application – which allows entry to Western Australia – was false.
‘Their G2G applications outlined that they’d only been in the Northern Territory and in fact they produced documentation to support their application, including some Northern Territory driver’s licence papers,’ WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said after the pair were arrested.
‘We are alleging that they falsified documents… including a driver’s licence, to gain access to Western Australia.
‘To say that this is disappointing is an understatement. How people could knowingly put others at risk in these times is selfish and contemptible.’
Burbank’s Facebook page is flooded with pictured of him with various celebrities, including sprinter Usain Bolt (left) and cricketer Brian Lara (right)
Commissioner Dawson acknowledged that the public had helped find the men.
‘I want take this opportunity to thank the community for the information they have provided police to help us lead to these arrests,’ he said.
‘This is yet another example of how the vast majority of law-abiding people have worked with police throughout this Covid pandemic.’
Burbank and Babbage both tested negative to Covid-19.
If found guilty, they each face 12 months in jail or a $50,000 fine.