World

Dad 'ripped up walls' before sending 'asbestos parcels' to consulates

Dad 'ripped up walls' before sending 'asbestos parcels' to consulates

Officials from the Pakistani and New Zealand consulates said the packages had the word "asbestos" written on the side, the ABC reports.

The man, named as Savas Avan, was charged with sending risky articles through a postal service, an offence that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a statement.

The AFP said assistance from Australia Post had been "crucial to the outcome of the investigation".

While forensics police searched his Shepparton home, Mr Avan faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday morning wearing red shorts and a blue Minions T-shirt from the Despicable Me movie series with the slogan "more than meets the eye".

"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.

Avan was ordered held without bail and is due to appear in court again in early March.

DFAT said in a statement it had warned all diplomatic missions in Australia to be tired of opening mail on January 8, after learning that suspicious packages were sent to three embassies and consulates in Canberra and Sydney on January 7. Police suspect the substance in the packages was sourced from the man's home.




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

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

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

More than a dozen foreign missions received suspicious packages on Wednesday, including the consulates of the United States and the United Kingdom in Melbourne, Australia's second-biggest city.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs had raised the alarm with all diplomatic missions in Canberra on Tuesday after similar incidents were reported at offices in Sydney and the Australian Capital Territory.

"The note advised missions to handle mail in accordance with their own government's protocols and instructions", a DFAT spokesperson said.