Suspicious packages found near Pakistani consulate in Australia

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 12, 2019

Police in Australia were on Wednesday investigating several suspicious packages sent to the Indian consulate and several other missions in Melbourne.

Police are "dealing" with a report of a suspicious package which has been delivered to the British consulate in Melbourne, Australia, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said.

Two fire trucks, a hazardous materials vehicle and police cars attended the Consulate-General of India where staff were also cleared from the building.

The US consulate was placed in lockdown at 1.30pm after staff scanned a suspicious package and discovered it contained white powder.

The Swiss consulate in Melbourne confirmed to CNN that a suspicious package was delivered at around 1.30 p.m. local time Wednesday (9.30 p.m. Tuesday ET), and that the police and fire services are now investigating.

"We are liaising closely with the [federal police] and the local authorities", the official added.

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

The Swiss embassyexternal link confirmed on Wednesday that police had turned up at the site of the Swiss consulate in Melbourne, according to the Swiss news agency, Keystone-SDA/ATS.

One official from Pakistan's consulate told the ABC that she opened a suspicious envelope at 10:00am (Melbourne time), which appeared to contain asbestos.

Aerial images from 9 News shows emergency services at the Indian and U.S. Consulates on St Kilda Road.

"There are 22 we know of at least in Melbourne and Canberra", Candice said.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) said it was assisting the Australian Federal Police at a number of incidents at embassies across Melbourne.

Meanwhile, Melbourne talkback radio station 3AW reported the American, British, Indian, Italian, New Zealand, Korean, Egyptian, Pakistani, Greek, Spanish, Japanese, and German consulates are believed to have been affected after the discovery of "hazardous materials" just before 2 p.m.

Some emergency workers were seen carrying large bags with the words Danger Asbestos written on them, Australian media report. Inside were plastic sandwich bags containing fibrous material.

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