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Suspicious packages sent to consulates in Melbourne

09 January 2019

Local media reported that emergency workers had been seen at consulates belonging to India, South Korea, New Zealand, Greece and Italy.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade in Melbourne has deployed units in response to a number of reports of "hazardous material" across the city.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) are investigating after suspicious packages were delivered to global consulates and embassies across Melbourne and Canberra.

At least seven of the affected Melbourne consulates have been evacuated.

It is not yet known which embassies in Canberra have been affected.

"The circumstances surrounding the incidents are being investigated", the statement added.

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

The Indian High Commission is located in Canberra; there were no immediate reports of the high commission being among the locations that received suspicious packages.

"Victoria Police will work to assist the AFP and other agencies including the [Metropolitan Fire Brigade] with the management and investigation of this issue".

"We are liaising closely with the AFP and the local authorities regarding the situation", the spokeswoman said.

Officials at the USA and British consulates separately confirmed suspicious packages had been received.

Addresses for the events include Market Street, Bourke Street, Middleton Lane, William Street, and St Kilda Road in Melbourne, Elgin Street at Carlton, and Yertchuk Avenue at Ashwood.

Paramedics and firefighters wearing hazmat suits were seen entering the Korean embassy, while fire engines were seen outside several consulates.

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

"All our staff are safe and accounted for", she said.

Two days before, a suspicious package containing white powder was found at the Argentine consulate in Sydney.

Suspicious packages sent to consulates in Melbourne