A 55-year-old Malaysian man has been charged in relation to an incident at Melbourne’s Crown Casino, which forced an evacuation of the venue’s first floor.
Police swarmed to the Melbourne casino after numerous triple-0 calls were made at about 3.30pm on Wednesday afternoon.
Hundreds of staff and customers were evacuated before the man was arrested. Police have not said what was inside his backpack.
He has been charged with making threats to kill, making false reports to police and making false statements, a police spokeswoman said.
The casino was deemed safe at about 7.30pm after checks by the Bomb Response Unit.
“Police are in the process of clearing the scene and Crown Casino will re-open to the public shortly,” Victoria Police said.
Premier Daniel Andrews thanked “brave” officers for dealing with the “concerning incident”.
“They have shown once again why they are the best at what they do. If you’re down there, please be patient and follow police instructions,” Mr Andrews said on Twitter.
Thanks to our brave and professional police who dealt with a concerning incident at Crown Casino this afternoon. They have shown once again why they are the best at what they do. If you’re down there, please be patient and follow police instructions.
— Daniel Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) February 28, 2018
Earlier, acting commander David Clayton said nobody was injured and the man had complied with police.
He said it was an ongoing investigation and police were working to eliminate all possible motives and types of incidents.
“[Officers] were called there in relation to a male with a backpack acting erratically,” he said.
The way the man was “acting and behaving” sparked the triple-0 calls, and police are investigating claims he “may have made some statements”.
He declined to say whether the incident was terrorism-related.
The public was urged to stay away from the Southbank end of the casino until the area is cleared.
Clarendon Street had earlier been closed between Flinders and Whiteman Streets, VicRoads said.
Crown said the incident was “resolved peacefully”.
“An isolated incident occurred at Crown Melbourne involving one patron. The issue was resolved peacefully with the assistance of Victorian Police,” Crown said in a statement.
A witness earlier phoned 3AW radio claiming she was evacuated from the cinema.
“We were at Crown in the movies and the lights came on,” the caller, named Julie, told the station.
“There would have to be at least 60 police running in and cop cars everywhere.”
The man has been remanded to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.