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

Elias Hubbard
January 10, 2019

Police said the packages contained asbestos, once a popular building material that can cause cancer and scaring of the lungs.

Australian federal police said in a statement that "the circumstances surrounding these incidents are being investigated".

Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police said in a joint statement that the man would appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday.

The man is expected to appear before Melbourne Magistrate's Court on Thursday morning.

The British consulate in Melbourne was one of 38 to be sent parcels, with officers continuing to test them to determine what substance they contain.

The matter is due to return to court on 4 March.

Several foreign diplomatic missions were evacuated in the Australian cities of Melbourne and Canberra on Wednesday after they received packages containing suspicious substances.

"Forensic police have spent a large part of today raiding his Shepparton home".

India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Korea, Switzerland and the United States consulates were among a number across Melbourne and Canberra targeted with suspicious packages yesterday, sparking an emergency "hazardous material" response and some evacuations.

Police say there is no ongoing threat to the public as they have identified all other recipients of the remaining parcels and have processes in place to seize them. Officials at the USA and Swiss missions in the city said they had also received packages.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said it had sent an email to all diplomatic missions in Canberra this week, after three offices in the capital and Sydney received suspicious packages. The offense carries a maximum 10-year jail term.

Taiwan's representative office in Melbourne, Australia, received a suspicious package on January 9, alongside 37 other packages sent to consulates and embassies across Australia.

"The note advised missions to handle mail in accordance with their own government's protocols and instructions", a DFAT spokesman said.

"Similar advice was subsequently provided to consulates around Australia".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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