Police investigating suspicious packages in Melbourne and Canberra

Police investigating suspicious packages in Melbourne and Canberra

Australian Federal Police said the packages were being "examined" by emergency services and the circumstances around the incidents are under investigation.

Emergency workers had been seen at consulates belonging to the US, India, Pakistan, Greece, South Korea, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and France according to Australian broadcaster ABC News.

A major security operation in Melbourne, Australia is underway after suspicious packages were reportedly found at multiple diplomatic consulates on January 9.

Meanwhile, Melbourne talkback radio station 3AW reported the American, British, Indian, Italian, New Zealand, Korean, Egyptian, Pakistani, Greek, Spanish, Japanese, and German consulates are believed to have been affected after the discovery of "hazardous materials" just before 2 p.m.

Staff were initially evacuated from some of the affected buildings, which were placed on temporary lock down, but were allowed to return later on Wednesday afternoon.

There were no immediate reports of any harm to staff. The husband of the Swiss honorary consul in Melbourne told the Australia Post a similar story.

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

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In a statement, Victoria Police said they were aware that "a number" of consulate offices had received suspicious packages.

A spokeswoman for the service said: "We are assisting the Australian Federal Police right now with a number of incidents across Melbourne".

The NZ consulate was one of at least seven worldwide consulates evacuated after multiple suspicious packages were found, in what officials labelled a "hazardous material" event.

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

"It's believed to be non-hazardous, however, they're treating it as a hazardous", she said.

Image: Police are investigating a suspicious package sent to the British Consulate in Melbourne.

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