Molotov cocktail in two new tobacco shop arson attacks

Melbourne's ongoing illicit tobacco war continues to rage, with two more shops set alight in targeted attacks.

Investigators believe a Molotov cocktail was used in an attack on a business at Footscray in the city's west just before 3am on Wednesday.

No one was inside the Paisley Street shop at the time and it's believed the unknown offenders fled in a car shortly after starting the blaze.

The fire is being investigated by detectives from Taskforce Lunar, a specialist police squad overseeing a long-running probe into more than 40 suspicious arson attacks believed to be linked to a conflict between organised crime groups.

About two hours later, another tobacco shop went up in flames in Hallam in Melbourne's southeast.

An accelerant was use to light the suspicious fire at the Spring Square shop, detectives say.

The offenders also managed to get away before police arrived.

Anyone with information about either attack or relevant footage has been asked to contact police.

The latest firebombings come after former Mongols bikie and professional boxer Suleiman "Sam" Abdulrahim was shot after being lured outside of his Melbourne home on Friday.

The shooting was at least the second attempt on his life since June 2022 and has reported links to the tobacco black market.

Police Minister Anthony Carbines said he was receiving regular briefings on the work of Taskforce Lunar to disrupt the crime syndicates behind the conflict.

"I wouldn't be critical of Victoria Police's ongoing arrests," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"They're making progress in the arrest and holding of those offenders to account but there's no doubt there's organised crime activity happening and we're bringing every resource to bear."

Legislation to establish a tobacco retailer licensing scheme in Victoria is expected to be introduced to state parliament in the second half of 2024.

Victoria had previously been the only state without a tobacco licensing scheme or formal plans to introduce one, with Queensland's system to begin in September.

Separately, the federal government has moved to crack down on the importation, manufacture, supply, and commercial possession of disposable single-use and non-therapeutic vapes.