Man arrested for sending packages to Australian embassies and consulates

Cheryl Sanders
January 10, 2019

A Commonwealth prosecutor told the court the deliveries contained asbestos.

The 48-year-old was arrested at his home in Shepparton, Victoria state, on Wednesday night, and charged with sending unsafe articles to be carried by a postal service, police said.

The man arrested sent 38 parcels, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) allege.

The man has been charged with sending risky articles to be carried by a postal service and is due to appear before Melbourne Magistrate's Court this morning.

The 48-year-old Shepparton man appeared in court today.

Australian police have arrested a man who allegedly sent suspicious parcels to consulates and embassies in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.

He was apprehended last night at his home, with images obtained by 9News showing police in hazmat gear assessing the suspect's home.

Police said they have identified all the intended recipients and have put procedures in place to recover the outstanding packages.

Police have recovered 29 of the packages and have said there is no ongoing threat to the public.

Emergency services were called to French, Greek, Indian, Italian, New Zealand, Pakistani, South Korean, Spanish, Swiss and USA consulates in Melbourne on January 9.

Savas Avan appeared in a Melbourne court after being arrested at his home in rural Victoria state on Wednesday, the same day several consulates in Melbourne received the suspicious packages, authorities said. The offense carries a maximum 10-year jail term.

"At this time we believe the matter is targeted and not impacting the general community", Victorian Police said on Wednesday.

It subsequently sent similar advice to missions elsewhere.

India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Korea, Switzerland and the United States consulates were among a number across Melbourne and Canberra targeted with suspicious packages on Wednesday, sparking an emergency "hazardous material" response and some evacuations.

"The note advised missions to handle mail in accordance with their own government's protocols and instructions", Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement.

Other reports by iNewsToday