Suspicious packages sent to Indian, British, German and Swiss embassies in Australia

  • Suspicious packages sent to Indian, British, German and Swiss embassies in Australia

Suspicious packages sent to Indian, British, German and Swiss embassies in Australia

Authorities said Wednesday that they were investigating suspicious packages that had been sent to several consulates and embassies in Melbourne and Canberra, the capital.

Authorities did not confirm the specific locations or intended targets of any of the packages, but the Australian federal police confirmed it was investigating and would examine the packages.

Victoria Police said they believed the incidents were targeted and did not impact the general community.

Australian media reported earlier that packages were sent to at least nine global missions in Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city, including the British, German, Swiss and Indian embassies.

Domestic media reported that some staff said the packages contained asbestos, a building material notorious for causing cancers and other health problems.

The Indian consulate in Melbourne, Australia was briefly evacuated over a suspicious package sent there.

It is understood at least seven Melbourne buildings have been evacuated.

The Australian Federal Police is being assisted by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) at embassies across Melbourne.

Emergency workers had been seen at consulates belonging to the US, India, Pakistan, Greece, South Korea, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and France according to Australian broadcaster ABC News. It is unclear what embassies in Canberra were affected.

Pictures posted on social media show cordons outside the Indian and South Korean consulates, both on St Kilda Road in the south of the city.

Paramedics and firefighters wearing hazmat suits were seen entering the Korean embassy, while fire engines were seen outside several consulates.

Emergency services were first alerted to the packages at the US Consulate and Indian consulate about 12.30 pm. Inside were plastic sandwich bags containing a fibrous material.

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.

"Staff were evacuated from the Consulate as a precautionary measure", a spokesperson said.