Shepparton man Savas Avan charged over suspicious packages sent to embassies

A Victoria Police forensic officer carries items to be loaded into a trailer outside the Italian consulate in Melbourne

A Victoria Police forensic officer carries items to be loaded into a trailer outside the Italian consulate in Melbourne

The ABC and Fairfax Media report that the packages contained cement and broken tiles in regular envelopes, with some packages including a note reading "asbestos".

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.

The man, named as Savas Avan, was charged with sending risky articles through a postal service, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a statement on Thursday.

Savas Avan, 49, faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday, charged with posting 38 risky articles to foreign diplomatic offices across Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

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.

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Police said they have identified all the intended recipients and have put procedures in place to recover the outstanding packages. They said there was no "ongoing threat to the general public" from the remaining nine.

Emergency crews were called to several consulates on Wednesday after being alerted by staff.

The substance in the packages is "suspected to have been sourced from his Shepparton home" in Northern Victoria, police said.

Police allege he sent 38 parcels with a substance from his home in Shepparton, Victoria, but said the exact composition of the substance is still being determined. The powder was deemed not risky by New South Wales police.

But at least two consulates in Melbourne did not contact authorities about packages until they received an email from the Australian government.

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Consulates of the UK, Switzerland, the USA and Pakistan are among those evacuated there.

Greek vice-consul Georgia Botsiou told SBS Greek radio it had received the package on Friday afternoon.

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

The arrest came after around 10 diplomatic missions, mostly in Melbourne, on Wednesday reported the delivery of suspicious packages, some of them labelled "asbestos".

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