Man Charged With Sending Dangerous Parcels To Embassies In Australia

A Victoria Police forensic officer carries items to be loaded into a trailer outside the Italian consulate in Melbourne

A Victoria Police forensic officer carries items to be loaded into a trailer outside the Italian consulate in Melbourne

Australian police have arrested a man after 38 suspicious packages containing a possibly hazardous substance were sent to foreign consulates in the Australian cities of Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

Emergency services were called to French, Greek, Indian, Italian, New Zealand, Pakistani, South Korean, Spanish, Swiss and USA consulates in Melbourne on January 9.

Victoria Police said they believed the consulates were specifically "targeted" and the situation was "not impacting the general community".

The Australian Federal Police said: "The man was arrested at his home last night and was charged with sending unsafe articles to be carried by a postal service, contrary to section 471 of the Criminal Code Act 1995".

They said the substance was most likely sourced from the man's home.

He was due to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court later on Thursday.

A spokesman for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed the country's consulate in Melbourne received a suspicious package and "staff were evacuated from the consulate as a precautionary measure".

Jaguar Land Rover to cut 4500 jobs in Brexit slump
They said in response: It is, of course, bad news that Jaguar Land Rover is being forced to make further job cuts. The threat of Brexit has also intensified as the United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union on 29 March.

Police recovered 29 of the packages, which were still being tested to determine their contents.

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

The powder, contained in clear plastic bags within an envelope, was subsequently deemed not risky.

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

The American, British, Indian, Italian, New Zealand, Korean, Egyptian, Pakistani, Greek, Danish, Spanish, Japanese, Thai and German consulates were among those impacted in Melbourne yesterday afternoon. "Written on the top was "samples" and because it didn't have a return address and without it having a note inside, we thought it was suspicious and, because of that, we isolated it from the start", Ms Botsiou said, translated from Greek.

A worker at the Pakistani consulate in Melbourne opened one of the packages about 10am on Wednesday.

It subsequently sent similar advice to missions elsewhere.

Latest News