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giftedviz.com January 19, 2019


NZ consulate in Melbourne receives suspicious package

09 January 2019, 11:10 | Darnell Patrick

Suspicious packages sent to embassies and consulates in Melbourne and Canberra

'Suspicious packages' found at consulates in Australia

"The packages are being examined by attending emergency services", the Australian Federal Police said in a statement.

It comes two days after a suspicious package was sent to the Argentinian consulate in Sydney. "The circumstances surrounding the incidents are being investigated".

"Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to embassies in Melbourne today", an AFP spokesperson told 10 daily.

The Israeli embassy in Canberra has confirmed it also received a suspicious package.

It said the packages were sent to consulates in Melbourne and embassies in Canberra, but did not provide a total number of affected sites or identify any of them.

USA and British consulate officials confirmed to Reuters that suspicious packages had been discovered at their respective locations.

The Indian and United States consulates on St Kilda Road as well as the British, Swiss and German diplomatic mission are believed to have been targeted.

Staff members were later allowed to re-enter the building, which was deemed safe by Vic Emergency, the collective body of emergency agencies in Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital.

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Images taken by 9News showed firefighters and paramedics attending the Indian and US missions in Melbourne.

There was also an alert of a hazardous material incident at Yertchuch Avenue in Ashwood, in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, where the Swiss consulate is based.

Photos put up by a journalist on Twitter showed Indian consulate staff sitting on a sidewalk outside their office while emergency service vehicles stood nearby.

A spokesman for the U.S. consulate in Melbourne told CNN that after receiving a suspicious package staff "followed standard procedures and alerted local authorities".

Some reports said as many as 22 consulates had received packages, some of which apparently contained asbestos.

A spokeswoman for the service said: "We are assisting the Australian Federal Police right now with a number of incidents across Melbourne".

Emergency workers wearing chemical suits were seen entering some of the buildings.



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