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Man in Australia arrested over suspicious consulate packages

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SYDNEY (AP) — Australian police arrested a man after 38 packages allegedly containing asbestos were sent to foreign consulates in the cities of Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

Savas Avan, 48, was arrested at his home in Shepparton, Victoria state, on Wednesday night, and charged with sending dangerous articles to be carried by a postal service.

He appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday to face the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Commonwealth prosecutor Matthew Simpson told the court the deliveries contained asbestos.

Avan, who was not required to enter a plea, did not apply for bail. He will appear again on March 4.

Around 10 diplomatic missions, mostly in Melbourne, on Wednesday reported the delivery of suspicious packages, some of them labelled “asbestos.” The missions included those from the United States, Britain, India, South Korea, Pakistan, Israel, Switzerland and Greece.

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This followed the discovery and removal on Monday of a suspicious package at the Argentinian Consulate in Sydney.

Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police said in a joint statement they will allege the substance in the packages was sourced from the man’s home.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

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