Shepparton man arrested as part of investigation into suspicious packages

By Shepparton News

A 48-year-old Shepparton man was last night arrested by Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Victoria Police as part of an investigation into suspicious packages delivered to Australian embassies and consulates.

In a joint statement, the AFP and Victoria Police this morning said the man was arrested at his home last night and was charged with sending dangerous articles to be carried by a postal service.

He is expected to appear before Melbourne Magistrate’s Court this morning.

According to the statement, it will be alleged in court that the man sent 38 parcels to consulates and embassies in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, with a substance suspected to have been sourced from his Shepparton home.

Police have recovered 29 of these packages.

Forensic testing will be undertaken on them to assess the composition of the material in them.

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

The authorities assured there was no ongoing threat to the general public.

"The assistance of the Australian Post has been crucial to the outcome of this investigation."

Further details regarding this investigation will be provided when it is appropriate to do so, the statement said.

India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Korea, Switzerland and the United States consulates were among a number across Melbourne and Canberra targeted with suspicious packages on Wednesday, sparking an emergency "hazardous material" response and some evacuations.

It came two days after Sydney's Argentinian consulate was partially evacuated following reports of a suspicious substance.

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

-with AAP