More than 20 foreign embassies in Melbourne and Canberra targeted with suspicious packages
Multiple suspicious packages were found at more than 20 international consulates across Melbourne and Canberra Wednesday afternoon.
BREAKING: Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages to embassies and consulates in ACT & VIC today (Wednesday, 9 January 2019). The packages are being examined by attending emergency services. The circumstances are being investigated.
— AFP (@AusFedPolice) January 9, 2019
Workers were evacuated across Melbourne, and it’s believed the American, British, Indian, Italian, New Zealand, Korean, Egyptian, Pakistani, Greek, Danish, Spanish, Japanese, Thai and German consulates have all been impacted.
It’s been revealed at least two foreign consulates in Melbourne did not contact authorities about suspicious packages until they received an email from the government.
At multiple locations it’s believed hazardous materials were discovered in the building’s mail room.
It’s reported the packages had various descriptions mentioning “asbestos” and “wear mask”.
Ten News reporter Candice Wyatt told Nick McCallum there was about a dozen police outside the Spanish Consulate in Carlton.
“There are 22 we know of at least in Melbourne and Canberra,” Wyatt said.
“There’s definitely confusion down here about what is actually going on.”
Click PLAY below for more
The AFP released the following statement:
Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to embassies in Melbourne today (Wednesday, 9 January 2019). The packages are being examined by attending emergency services.
The circumstances surrounding these incidents are being investigated.
Victoria Police also officially acknowledged the incident late this afternoon.
Victoria Police is aware of a number of consulate offices in Melbourne today receiving suspicious packages.
At this time we believe the matter is targeted and not impacting the general community.
Victoria Police will work to assist the AFP and other agencies including the MFB with the management and investigation of this issue.
The discovery of suspicious substances at the Argentinian consulate in Sydney prompted a large scale emergency response just two days ago.
Image: 7 News/Kristy Mayr