Australian Border Force officer arrested over 'international tobacco ring'

An Australian Border Force officer has been arrested over an alleged international tobacco ring operating between Sydney and Dubai.

The serving officer, Craig Eakin, was arrested alongside a female former Customs and Border Protection Service officer.

The arrests follows dawn raids on Tuesday when more than 570 AFP officers swooped on homes and businesses across Sydney.

An ABF official was allegedly caught out in the tobacco ring. Source: AAP

"Unfortunately, during this operation, we have uncovered some allegations of corrupt activity, which this syndicate exploited to try and get their drugs into the country," Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan said on Thursday.

"We will be alleging that these persons utilised their knowledge and expertise to assist the Jomaa organised crime family bring border-controlled drugs into Australia."

The pair are two of a group of eight people arrested in Sydney and one in Dubai over their involvement in an alleged conspiracy to illegally import drugs and tobacco into Australia.

Officers seized a number of items of evidence. Source: AAP

On Tuesday, 17 people were arrested across three countries, including two brothers of Kings Cross nightlife figure John Ibrahim, preventing about two tonnes of illicit drugs reaching Australia.

Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton said the allegations against the serving ABF officer were serious and defended the reputation of the agency.

"I want to apologise to all of the Australian Border Force officers for the alleged conduct of this officer," he told reporters in Canberra.

"This besmirches 5,500 officers who do a great job.

"It just takes one bad apple."

17 people were arrested across three countries. Source: AAP

Mr Dutton then pointed to endemic corruption in Australia's ports "since settlement", particularly in Sydney and Melbourne.

"Our job is to weed it out," he added.