"Forensic police have spent a large part of today raiding his Shepparton home".
He was taken into custody hours after the discovery of numerous suspicious packages which triggered a string of emergency responses across Melbourne, prompting the evacuation and closure of some consulates.
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.
On Wednesday suspicious packages were received at embassies in Canberra as well as the US, Pakistani, Swiss, Indian, South Korean, New Zealand, Greek, French, Italian, Spanish and Turkish consulates in Melbourne.
Australian police on Thursday (Jan 10) charged a 49-year-old man for sending as many as 38 suspicious packages containing a hazardous material to embassies and consulates around the country.
He was charged with sending unsafe materials through the post.
Police said they have identified all the intended recipients and have put procedures in place to recover the outstanding packages. Victoria police said they believed the incidents were targeted and did not impact the general community.
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But at least two consulates in Melbourne did not contact authorities about packages until they received an email from the Australian government.
An incident was also listed at the South Melbourne building where the Consulate General of Turkey is based.
An official from the Greek consulate told SBS Greek radio they first became suspicious due to the lack of return address.
"Similar advice was subsequently provided to consulates around Australia".
"It didn't have a return address".
The packages were delivered Wednesday.
Avan made no application for bail and was remanded to reappear at court on March 4.
The first suspect packages were found at three consulates and embassies in Sydney and Canberra earlier in the week, leading the Department of Foreign Affairs to send notes to all diplomatic missions Tuesday "alerting them to the possibility of suspicious packages being delivered by mail".