Australia cops examine packages left at consulates, including India’s

Australia cops examine packages left at consulates, including India’s

7 News reporter Cassie Zervos told Nick McCallum the Australian Federal Police arrested Avan last night.

The 48-year-old man was charged with sending unsafe articles to be carried by a postal service, an offence which carries a maximum 10-year jail term.

A man has been arrested after almost 40 suspicious packages were discovered at foreign embassies and consulates across Australia.

He will appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday.

A man was arrested in the Victorian town of Shepparton, with police suspecting that the material sent to diplomatic missions came from his home.

Australian police on Thursday (Jan 10) charged a 49-year-old man for sending as many as 38 suspicious packages containing a hazardous material to embassies and consulates around the country. Police suspect the substance in the packages was sourced from the man's home.

The Indian, New Zealand, South Korean, Swiss, Greek, French, Italian, Pakistani, Spanish and USA consulates in Melbourne and Canberra were among those targeted with suspicious packages on Wednesday.

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Mr Avan did not apply for bail.

Only 29 of the 38 packages have been discovered so far, but federal police say they have put processes in place to recover the outstanding parcels safely. "There is no ongoing threat to the general public", it added.

More than a dozen foreign missions received suspicious packages on Wednesday, including the consulates of the United States and the United Kingdom in Melbourne, Australia's second-biggest city. Officials at the U.S. and Swiss missions in the city said they had also received packages.

The first parcel was received at the Argentinian consulate in Sydney on Monday and contained powder in clear plastic bags inside an envelope.

DFAT said IT had sent an email to all Canberra-based diplomatic missions yesterday, and then to other consulates across Australia.

"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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