Suspicious packages sent to embassies in Australia

Suspicious packages sent to embassies in Australia

Kerry Wise
January 10, 2019

Australian police were investigating the delivery of suspicious packages sent to foreign embassies and consulates in Melbourne and Canberra, including the Turkish consulate, police and diplomatic sources said on January 9.

"The packages are being examined by attending emergency services".

The Australian Federal Police are investigating the circumstances around the packages and are working with local authorities and MFB.

The Israeli embassy in Canberra has confirmed it also received a suspicious package.

Victoria Police said there was no threat to the public: "At this time we believe the matter is targeted and not impacting the general community".

Police cars and ambulances could be seen outside several diplomatic missions in Melbourne and the capital Canberra, including those of Germany, South Korea, Italy, India, and Spain.

Aerial images from 9 News shows emergency services at the Indian and U.S. Consulates on St Kilda Road.

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said Australian Federal Police are "dealing" with a report of a suspicious package at the British Consulate General in Melbourne.

The police said there were ten "hazardous material" responses taking place throughout the city.

The NZ consulate was one of at least seven worldwide consulates evacuated after multiple suspicious packages were found, in what officials labelled a "hazardous material" event.

The incidents come after Sydney's Argentinian consulate was partially evacuated on Monday after reports of a suspicious substance.

"All our staff are safe and accounted for", said a British High Commission spokesperson. The government Vic Emergency website noted at least 10 "hazardous material" incidents in the city. She has been quarantined for treatment, the sources said.

Sky reported that the scare coincided with the USA embassy's hazmat training, which had been booked for months.

Some of the packages were reported to contain what appeared to be concrete, and were labelled asbestos.