The haul comes as the NSW Government promises to continue its hard-line crackdown on the trade while dropping plans to install vape detectors in public school toilets.
Officers seized more than 213,000 disposable vapes as well as more than five million cigarettes, 400kg of loose-leaf tobacco, four gel blasters and about $277,000 in cash after raiding multiple Sydney properties.
The estimated potential street value of the illicit goods was $12.5 million, the Australian Border Force said in a statement on Friday.
Assistant Commissioner Tony Smith said the agency was “well and truly on the front foot” when it came to new vaping regulations and it would continue to target large-scale importations.
Under a national crackdown introduced in January, the importation of disposable vapes was banned.
Access to e-cigarettes for therapeutic purposes requires a prescription from a medical or nurse practitioner.
Further changes due in March will outlaw the personal importation of vapes and the importation of all non-therapeutic vapes.
NSW has also vowed to stymie sellers marketing illegal goods, but the state has scrapped a proposal to install vape-detection devices in public schools despite admitting there were widespread problems with use among students.
The rollout was revealed to cost as much as $800 million and could potentially cause more harm than good.
The detectors, which can also pick up cannabis use, cost as much as $10,000 each and would need to be installed in about 80,000 toilets across the state.
The NSW Education Department outlined plans in mid-2023 to consider installing the devices by July 2024.
A handful of schools including St John Paul II Catholic College in Canberra have installed the detectors in bathrooms and the administration claims to have substantially reduced vaping at the school.
Education Minister Prue Car on Friday said plans for a statewide rollout had been shelved as there was limited evidence it would be effective.
“An $800 million price tag for something that's not going to work? No,” she told Sydney radio 2GB.
Experts were concerned the system posed a health risk as it might encourage students to hold in the toxic vapour instead of breathing it out so as to not be detected.
“That’s just frightening, we don't want to be doing more harm than good,” Car said.
Teachers also raised concerns the mere detection of vapour would not be able to single out offending students and students would simply vape elsewhere.
Car said schools that wished to install vape detectors could do so at their discretion using their own funds.