Man charged for postal terror bid

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 11 Jan 2019

An Australian man was charged yesterday with sending dozens of packages believed to contain asbestos to embassies and consulates around the country.

Savas Avan, 49, appeared in a Melbourne court after being arrested at his home in rural Victoria state on Wednesday, the same day several consulates in Melbourne received the suspicious packages, authorities said.

Police allege he sent 38 parcels containing a dangerous substance to consulates and embassies in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

Local media quoted court documents saying the substance was asbestos, a cancer-causing material once widely used in construction, but a police spokeswoman declined to confirm or deny the reports.

Police did not offer a motive for Avan's alleged actions.

He was charged with sending dangerous materials through the post. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Avan was ordered held without bail and is due to appear in court again in early March.

On Wednesday, emergency services raced to diplomatic facilities in Melbourne that had received the suspect packages.

There was no obvious pattern to countries targeted, with consulates of the United States, China, Italy, India, Japan and New Zealand suffering scares.

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