Man in Australia arrested after 38 suspicious packages sent to foreign consulates

Man in Australia arrested after 38 suspicious packages sent to foreign consulates

Man in Australia arrested after 38 suspicious packages sent to foreign consulates

7 News reporter Cassie Zervos told Nick McCallum the Australian Federal Police arrested Avan last night.

In a joint statement, the Australian federal police and Victoria police said the man was charged with sending risky articles to be carried by a postal service, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years jail under the Criminal Code Act 1995.

The AFP said assistance from Australia Post had been "crucial to the outcome of the investigation".

Savas Avan, from Shepparton, more than 100 miles north of Melbourne, appeared at Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Thursday. The accused faced the Melbourne Magistrates' Court this afternoon.

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Some 38 parcels were sent to consulates and embassies in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney yesterday.

Police allege he sent 38 parcels containing a risky substance to consulates and embassies in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

Avan will next appear in court in March.

"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.

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"The maximum penalty for the offence the man has been charged with is 10 years imprisonment", the statement added.

The arrest came hours after consulates in Melbourne were forced into lockdown having received suspicious packages in the mail.

The Indian, New Zealand, South Korean, Swiss, Greek, French, Italian, Pakistani, Spanish and United States consulates in Melbourne and Canberra were among those targeted with suspicious packages on Wednesday. They said there was no "ongoing threat to the general public" from the remaining nine. They gave no additional details of how the asbestos was packaged or what the motive might have been.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs had raised the alarm with all diplomatic missions in Canberra on Tuesday after similar incidents were reported at offices in Sydney and the Australian Capital Territory.

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The incident comes just days after emergency services were called to the Argentinian consulate in Sydney's CBD after reports that a suspicious substance was found in a parcel.

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