Australia police examining suspicious packages sent to diplomatic missions

Elias Hubbard
January 12, 2019

Suspicious packages were sent to more than a dozen foreign embassies and consulates in major Australian cities on Wednesday in a seemingly orchestrated but scattershot campaign.

The discovery of suspicious substances at the Argentinian consulate in Sydney prompted a large scale emergency response just two days ago.

Emergency service personel exit the building where the Korean consulate is located in Melbourne.

The Greek Consulate General on St Kilda Road and the Pakistani consulate in Albert Park both received suspect packages but did not contact authorities straight away.

The official said she was told by the authorities to wash her hands. The statement added that law enforcement agencies were examining the packages and were also probing the circumstances around the incidents.

Other consulates in Melbourne and embassies in the capital, Canberra, that reportedly received suspicious packages included those representing the United States, Britain, New Zealand, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Denmark, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Egypt.

A spokeswoman said: "As this matter is subject to further inquiries, it is not appropriate to provide further information that may impact on the investigation".

The building was deemed "safe" and employees were able to reenter the building by 3.00pm. US Consulate General Melbourne; 7.

Initial suspicions were raised by a spelling mistake on the envelope, with "consulate" misspelled. On the package, in the English language warnings, such as "asbestos" and "Draw a mask".

The staff member did not touch the contents of the package.

Paramedics and firefighters wearing hazmat suits were seen entering the Korean embassy, while fire engines were seen outside several consulates.

According to local media at least five diplomatic missions reports were in Melbourne closed.

"No patients have required treatment or transport to hospital", it said in a statement.

7 News reports the US, British, Indian, German and Swiss consulates may also be affected.

Emergency Management Victoria maps showed 11 active hazardous material incidents on Wednesday afternoon, but the number was rapidly falling.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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