Suspicious packages delivered at Indian Consulate, other diplomatic missions in Australia

Lester Mason
January 12, 2019

Australian Federal Police gave few details, saying only that emergency units were responding to suspicious packages delivered to diplomatic addresses in the two cities.

Police did not identify any of the embassies or consulates involved.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said Australian Federal Police are "dealing" with a report of a suspicious package at the British Consulate General in Melbourne.

"We are aware of reports of suspicious packages being received and are cooperating with the AFP", a British consulate spokesman said.

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

They were allowed to re-enter the building, which was deemed "safe" by Vic Emergency by 3pm.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed that the New Zealand Consulate General in Melbourne received a suspicious package this afternoon.

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

Firefighters, right, are seen outside the Indian and French consulates on St Kilda Road in Melbourne.

According to the newspaper, the Australian, the missions affected included those of India, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, Germany, Greece, Spain, Seychelles, Switzerland, Croatia and Egypt.

Emergency services raced to a string of diplomatic facilities which had received packages containing suspected hazardous material, all within the space of a few hours.

There were at least 17 "hazardous material" warnings listed on the Victoria Emergency website after 1pm, scattered across the city on Collins St, Queens St, William St, St Kilda Rd and Albert Rd. "It was in an envelope", she said.

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

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade is assisting Australian Federal Police, who is the lead agency in the investigation, an MFB spokeswoman said.

One firefighter was seen outside the South Korean consulate carrying a large plastic bag with the word "asbestos" written on it. Inside were plastic sandwich bags containing a fibrous material.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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