The office of German Finance Minister Robert Habeck in his constituency of Flensburg announced today that it had received a package containing a white substance on Wednesday afternoon, prompting a large-scale police operation.

After a preliminary examination, police believe the substance was just fine sand, a police spokesman said pending a full investigation into the incident.

Employees at Hambeck’s office in Flensburg, near Germany’s northern border with Denmark, handed the file over to the police yesterday afternoon, who in turn alerted the fire department, according to a statement issued by the police late yesterday.

The police operation lasted two hours and the substance was removed from the building by the fire brigade after being placed in a container.

Hambeck, whose ministry is responsible for the energy sector as well as the economy and who is also Germany’s vice chancellor, is the face of high-profile policies aimed at mitigating the economic impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

His popularity has fallen in recent weeks in opinion polls following a nepotism scandal in his ministry and criticism that he is promoting the phasing out of older home heating systems.