Suspicious packages sent to foreign missions in Australia

'Suspicious packages' found at consulates in Australia
Suspicious packages sent to embassies and consulates in Melbourne and Canberra

10 January, 2019

Domestic media reported that more than a dozen foreign offices received the packages and some staff said they contained asbestos, a material used in building that can cause cancers and other health problems.

The AFP added suspicious packages were also sent to embassies and consulates in the Australian capital Canberra.

Two firetrucks, a hazardous materials vehicle and police cars were seen at India's consulate in Melbourne, where staff members had been evacuated, some wearing protective masks.

The Indian consulate and USA embassy, both located on St Kilda Road in Melbourne, are believed to be have been affected, as well as the Swiss, British, German, Spanish, Korean and New Zealand consulates and embassies.

The journalist also said that Hazmat crews (they deal with risky substances) had entered the consulate building.

Contamination squads have been sent to at least seven locations in Melbourne with the hopes of identifying the contents of the packages.

Victoria Police said there was no threat to the public: "At this time we believe the matter is targeted and not impacting the general community".

Trump backed away from wall months ago, says chief of staff Kelly
He also said the compromise should include changes in federal law to discourage people from trying to enter the USA illegally. Trump has previously threatened to close the border to prevent Central American immigrants reaching the United States.

Markets Right Now: US stocks open lower as sellers return
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5 percent to 2,495.16 points while Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.6 percent to 19,964.54. The Nasdaq is already in bear market, along with the Dow Jones Transport Average.DJT and small-cap Russell 2000 index.

Partial government shutdown enters fifth day with no end in sight
One union representing federal workers slammed Trump's claim. "It's a barrier from people pouring into the country, from drugs". About 25 percent of discretionary government spending, spanning dozens of departments and agencies, has run out of money.

Firefighters and Ambulance Victoria paramedics were attending the Indian Consulate and US Consulate on St Kilda Road. "The circumstances are being investigated", said the Australian Federal Police.

Emergency services attended consulates across Melbourne's central busy district and the inner city.

The Australian Federal Police say that police and emergency services are examining suspicious packages delivered to the foreign consulates.

Sky reported that the scare coincided with the U.S. embassy's hazmat training, which had been booked for months.

Emergency services in Australia are responding to multiple reports of suspicious packages delivered to a number of embassies and consulates in Canberra and Melbourne.

There have been 18 "hazardous materials" alerts so far through Emergency Victoria's website on January 9.

Victoria Police said they are aware of the suspicious packages, but do not believe the public should be concerned.

More news