Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Victorian man faces court over 'suspicious packages' found at Melbourne, Canberra consulates

Victorian man faces court over 'suspicious packages' found at Melbourne, Canberra consulates

Police suspect the substance in the packages was sourced from the man's home. The government Vic Emergency website noted several "hazardous material" incidents, the AP reported.

Police did not release the suspect's name.

He was taken into custody hours after the discovery of numerous suspicious packages which triggered a string of emergency responses across Melbourne, prompting the evacuation and closure of some consulates.

The packages contained asbestos, once a popular building material that can cause cancer and scarring of the lungs.

Police have arrested a man from north-east Victoria for allegedly sending 38 suspicious parcels to consulates and embassies in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

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They identified all the intended recipients and were working to recover the remaining packages, but said there was no ongoing risk to the public.

The packages were sent two days after an envelope containing powder was sent to the Argentinian consulate in Sydney.

On Wednesday suspicious packages were received at embassies in Canberra as well as the US, Pakistani, Swiss, Indian, South Korean, New Zealand, Greek, French, Italian, Spanish and Turkish consulates in Melbourne. They gave no additional details of how the asbestos was packaged or what the motive might have been.

"They were very quick on to it, they provided advice to the relevant consular residences and in practical terms we learnt very quickly, that evening, that the substance was inert", he said. Consulate General of Pakistan; 3.

The packages have been found to contain asbestos.

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"It didn't have a return address".

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the matter had been referred to the Australian Federal Police, as well as Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Avan was ordered held without bail and is due to appear in court again in early March.

"After learning of incidents at three offices in Sydney and Canberra, DFAT sent a note to all diplomatic missions in Canberra on January 8 alerting them to the possibility of suspicious packages being delivered by mail", a spokesman said.

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