Consulates in Melbourne and Canberra evacuated over 'suspicious package'

Frederick Owens
January 9, 2019

Authorities did not confirm the specific locations or intended targets of any of the packages, but the Australian federal police confirmed it was investigating and would examine the packages.

Image: Police are investigating a suspicious package sent to the British Consulate in Melbourne.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) are investigating after suspicious packages were delivered to worldwide consulates and embassies across Melbourne and Canberra.

It is unclear what embassies in Canberra were affected.

Suspicious packages have sparked a major emergency response and evacuation of some foreign consulates across Melbourne, with embassies in Canberra also hit.

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

Similar scenes are believed to be unfolding at numerous other diplomatic offices, while staff have been told not to comment to reporters.

"We are liaising closely with the AFP and the local authorities regarding the situation", the spokesperson said.

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

Investigating officers at the U.S Consulate on St Kilda Road said the package had been found in the mail room.

A New Zealand official told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the consulate received an envelope with small plastic bags that appeared to contain concrete and asbestos, with "asbestos" written on one of the bags.

A firefighter is seen carrying a hazardous material bag into the South Korean consulate in Melbourne.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) said it was assisting police.

Staff members were later allowed to re-enter the building, which was deemed safe by Vic Emergency, the collective body of emergency agencies in Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital.

Emergency services attended consulates across Melbourne's central busy district and the inner city.

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

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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