Dad 'ripped up walls' before sending 'asbestos parcels' to consulates

Blanche Robertson
January 10, 2019

A Commonwealth prosecutor told the court the deliveries contained asbestos.

The Australian Federal Police have confirmed the man was arrested at his home in northern Victoria on Wednesday night and charged with sending risky articles to be carried by a postal service.

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

While forensics police searched his Shepparton home, Mr Avan faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday morning wearing red shorts and a blue Minions T-shirt from the Despicable Me movie series with the slogan "more than meets the eye".

The 48-year-old Shepparton man appeared in court today.

A MAN has been arrested for allegedly sending suspicious packages to embassies and consulates throughout Australia.

He was apprehended last night at his home, with images obtained by 9News showing police in hazmat gear assessing the suspect's home.

Police said they had so far recovered 29 of the 38 packages and were undertaking forensic testing to determine what they were carrying.

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Avan was ordered held without bail and is due to appear in court again in early March.

Police say there is no ongoing threat to the public as they have identified all other recipients of the remaining parcels and have processes in place to seize them. They gave no additional details of how the asbestos was packaged or what the motive might have been.

More than a dozen foreign missions received suspicious packages on Wednesday, including the consulates of the United States and the United Kingdom in Melbourne, Australia's second-biggest city.

"Similar advice was subsequently provided to consulates around Australia".

The maximum penalty for the offence is 10 years imprisonment.

It came two days after Sydney's Argentinian consulate was partially evacuated following reports of a suspicious substance.

"After learning of incidents at three offices in Sydney and Canberra, DFAT sent a note to all diplomatic missions in Canberra on January 8 alerting them to the possibility of suspicious packages being delivered by mail", a spokesman said.

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