Wednesday, 19 June, 2019


Man Charged Over Suspicious Packages Sent To Consulates

Local media quoted court documents saying the substance in the parcels was asbestos a cancer-causing material. — AFP Local media quoted court documents saying the substance in the parcels was asbestos a cancer-causing material. — AFP
Bennie Garza | 10 January, 2019, 17:33

An Australian man was charged Thursday with sending dozens of packages believed to contain asbestos to embassies and consulates around the country.

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.

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

The arrested man is expected to appear in a Melbourne court on Thursday, charged with sending unsafe articles through the post.

Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police will allege the substance in the packages was sourced from his Shepparton home.

A 49-year-old man has appeared in court over suspicious packages delivered to embassies and consulates throughout Australia.

Avan did not apply for bail and is due back before court on March 4.

"Police have so far recovered 29 of these packages, with forensic testing to be undertaken on them to determine the exact composition of the material in them", the statement said.

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

Police said they have identified all the intended recipients and have put procedures in place to recover the outstanding packages.

At least two consulates in Melbourne did not contact authorities about packages until they received an email from the Australian government.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs had raised the alarm with all diplomatic missions in Canberra on Tuesday after similar incidents were reported at offices in Sydney and the Australian Capital Territory.

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

The suspicious packages sparked a major emergency response and evacuation of seven foreign consulates across Melbourne, with embassies in Canberra also hit.

If found guilty he faces a maximum of 10 years behind bars.

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