Suspicious packages sent to foreign missions in Australia

Blanche Robertson
January 9, 2019

Australian media reported earlier that packages were sent to at least nine worldwide missions in Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city, including the British, German, Swiss and Indian embassies.

Footage showed emergency services workers attended the US, Greek, French, Italian, Hong Kong, Indian, New Zealand, Pakistan and Swiss consulates.

It comes two days after a suspicious package was sent to the Argentinian consulate in Sydney.

The Swiss consulate in Melbourne confirmed to CNN that a suspicious package was delivered at around 1.30 p.m. local time Wednesday (9.30 p.m. Tuesday ET), and that the police and fire services are now investigating.

The ministry said staff were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Ten News reporter Candice Wyatt told Nick McCallum there was about a dozen police outside the Spanish Consulate in Carlton.

One firefighter was seen outside the South Korean consulate carrying a large plastic bag with the word "asbestos" written on it.

A number of consulates have been evacuated in Melbourne.

She told the ABC she was "scared of what might happen".

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In Australia, suspicious packages have been delivered to several embassies and consulates in Canberra and Melbourne.

The packages were being examined by "attending emergency services", the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a statement on Wednesday, without providing additional details. "The circumstances are being investigated", it said.

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

"At this time we believe the matter is targeted and not impacting the general community", the statement said.

"The Australian Federal Police and Melbourne Fire Department are investigating".

Victoria Police said they are aware of the suspicious packages, but do not believe the public should be concerned.

There was also an alert of a hazardous material incident at Yertchuch Avenue in Ashwood, in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, where the Swiss consulate is based.

A spokesman for the USA consulate in Melbourne also confirmed it had received a suspicious package.

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