Australia police examining suspicious packages sent to diplomatic missions
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 Jan. 9.
Police, fire crews and ambulances were seen at a number of diplomatic offices in Melbourne, including those of India, Germany, Italy, Spain and South Korea.
“The circumstances surrounding these incidents are being investigated,” the Australian Federal Police said in a statement.
It said the packages were sent to consulates in Melbourne and embassies in Canberra but did not provide a total number of affected sites or identify any of them.
Local media reported suspicious packages were also found at the Melbourne consulates of Turkey, the United States, Switzerland, Pakistan and New Zealand, and possibly those of Greece, France, and Hong Kong.
The ABC reported one New Zealand consulate worker had said the packages in question were envelopes labelled “asbestos.” Inside were plastic sandwich bags containing a fibrous material.
The incidents come after Sydney’s Argentinian consulate was partially evacuated on Jan. 7 after reports of a suspicious substance. The powder, contained in clear plastic bags within an envelope, was subsequently deemed not dangerous.