Victoria’s Tobacco Turf War Continues: Two More Shops Targeted In Arson Attacks

The ongoing turf war over tobacco in Victoria has escalated further, with two more shops targeted in the early hours of Friday.

According to the Victoria Police, offenders broke into a tobacco shop on Sydney Road in Coburg and set it ablaze just before 4:30am.

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About 30 firefighters from Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) battled the blaze to prevent it from spreading to nearby businesses. 

Commander Paul Eckholdt expressed concern over the frequency of such incidents.

He said accelerants were being used in these arson attacks, often situated below multi-storey apartments, with little regard for the safety of nearby residents.

“It is a worry for FRV, the amount of these fires that are occurring,” he said.

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Investigations into these incidents will be undertaken by Victoria Police’s Taskforce Lunar, a unit specifically established to combat organised crime related to tobacco. 

“There doesn’t seem to be any concern for residents living around or above these premises.”

The collateral damage from these arson attacks extends beyond the targeted businesses.

Police revealed that since March 2023, there have been 65 arson attacks on tobacco stores in Victoria, costing the country billions of dollars.

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