Australia cops examine packages left at consulates, including India’s

Victorian man arrested for allegedly sending suspicious packages to embassies

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

"Police have so far recovered 29 of these packages, with forensic testing to be undertaken on them to determine the exact composition of the material in them", a statement from Australian Federal Police said.

A Victorian man has been arrested over 38 suspicious packages sent to foreign embassies and consulates in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

Police said it would be alleged in court that the suspect sent 38 parcels to the consulates and embassies of foreign countries including Germany, the United Kingdom and the US.

He was charged with sending unsafe articles to be carried by postal service and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if he is found guilty.

The packages were not believed to be risky, but police, fire crews and forensic teams were urged to use breathing apparatus as they documented and double- or triple-bagged the materials for further testing.

Consulates of the UK, Switzerland, the U.S. and Pakistan are among those evacuated there.

On Wednesday suspicious packages were received at embassies in Canberra as well as the US, Pakistani, Swiss, Indian, South Korean, New Zealand, Greek, French, Italian, Spanish and Turkish consulates in Melbourne.

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

An official from the Greek consulate told SBS Greek radio they first became suspicious due to the lack of return address.

DFAT said IT had sent an email to all Canberra-based diplomatic missions yesterday, and then to other consulates across Australia.

The Pakistani consulate was delivered a package at 10am on Wednesday morning but only contacted authorities when prompted by an email from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, according to The Age.

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

The arrest came after around 10 diplomatic missions, mostly in Melbourne, on Wednesday reported the delivery of suspicious packages, some of them labelled "asbestos".

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