The brother of a suspected illegal tobacco kingpin has been arrested in sweeping cross-country raids this week.

Police in Western Australia and Victoria have been investigating the trafficking of illicit tobacco following a series of arson attacks on tobacco businesses across both states.

WA Police Acting Detective Superintendent Jeff Beros said the 29-year-old man who was arrested was previously from Victoria but moved to Perth, allegedly to help establish an illegal tobacco network.

The brother of a suspected illegal tobacco kingpin has been arrested in sweeping cross-country raids this week. (WA Police)

“The syndicate involved were conveying profits earned from the illicit tobacco trade back over to Melbourne and Victoria and that investigation is still under operation,” he said.

“This particular Middle Eastern organised crime group is involved predominantly in the illicit tobacco trade.”

More than 50 warrants have been executed over the past week across WA, with police seizing 5.9 million illicit cigarettes, $1.7 million in cash, five vehicles with a combined value of $500,000.

More than 49,000 vapes were also sized during searches at retail outlets, private homes and storage units.

Nine people, including the 29-year-old man, have been charged following the warrants.

On Monday, Victoria Police executed six warrants at homes across Melbourne, including in Sunbury where 15 firearms, 2.4 million illicit cigarettes, a gel blaster and a stolen vehicle were seized.

The cigarettes are valued at approximately $2.4 million, police said.

A 29-year-old Sunbury man was arrested at the property and charged with multiple offences.

Police arrested a 26-year-old Wollert man who is expected to be charged on summons with illicit tobacco offences.

A 28-year-old Collingwood man has been charged with drug and proceeds of crime offences, while a 19-year-old officer was arrested in relation to the investigation into a suspicious fire at a tobacco store in Seville on 11 February.

Police said the investigation is continuing across both states. 

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