Man Arrested After Suspicious Packages Sent To Consulates Throughout Australia

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Savas Avan was charged with sending risky articles through the postal service, Australian law enforcement officials said in a statement.

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

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.

Police in Australia have charged a 49-year-old man for sending as many as 38 packages containing a hazardous material to diplomatic embassies and consulates across the country.

"He has since been charged with posting 38 packages of what is believed to have been asbestos to consulates across Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra", Cassie said.

"Police have identified all intended recipients and have put processes in place to recover the outstanding packages".

On Wednesday suspicious packages were received at embassies in Canberra as well as the US, Pakistani, Swiss, Indian, South Korean, New Zealand, Greek, French, Italian, Spanish and Turkish consulates in Melbourne. The Victoria state police said on January 9 that they believe the incidents are targeted, and that the general public is not at great risk. The offense carries a maximum 10-year jail term.

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It came two days after Sydney's Argentinian consulate was partially evacuated following reports of a suspicious substance. Officials at the USA and Swiss missions in the city said they had also received packages.

The Indian and USA consulates on St Kilda Road, along with the British, Swiss, German Korean, Greek, Italian, Pakistani and Egyptian missions were targeted.

An official from the Greek consulate told SBS Greek radio they first became suspicious due to the lack of return address.

DFAT told AAP it had sent an email to all Canberra diplomatic missions on Tuesday.

"Similar advice was subsequently provided to consulates around Australia".

The Pakistani consulate was delivered a package at 10am on Wednesday morning but contacted authorities only when prompted by an email from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Age reported.

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