Australian arrested over dangerous parcels

Photo AFP.

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

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

Local media reported that Avan, 49, attended court wearing a T-shirt featuring a character from the animated film Minions, with the slogan “more than meets the eye.”

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 put forward 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, police said.

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

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