Suspicious Packages Found At Indian Mission, Other Embassies In Australia

Cheryl Sanders
January 9, 2019

Workers are being evacuated across town, with the embassies impacted believed to include the American, British, Indian, Italian, New Zealand, Korean, Egyptian, Pakistani, Greek, Danish, Spanish, Japanese, Thai and German consulates after hazardous materials were discovered just before 2pm.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) are investigating after suspicious packages were delivered to worldwide consulates and embassies across Melbourne and Canberra.

The Swiss consulate in Melbourne was sent a small envelope containing a substance labelled "asbestos", said Peter Erb, the husband of honorary consul Manuela Erb.

Embassies in Canberra have also been targeted.

Hazmat and fire crews work outside the Indian and French Consulate in Melbourne, Australia Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019.

"The packages are being examined by attending emergency services", the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a short statement without providing further details.

"We are liaising closely with the AFP and the local authorities regarding the situation", the spokeswoman said.

Images taken by 9News show firefighters and Ambulance Victoria paramedics attending the Indian Consulate and US Consulate on St Kilda Road. "The circumstances are being investigated", it said.

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.

There were no immediate reports of any of the consulate staff being harmed in the incidents.

Suspicious packages have sparked a major emergency response and evacuation of some foreign consulates across Melbourne, including New Zealand, with embassies in Canberra also hit. The Melbourne fire brigade and Australian Federal Police are now investigating.

"All our staff are safe and accounted for", she said.

It comes two days after a suspicious package was sent to the Argentinian consulate in Sydney.

Other reports by iNewsToday