Molotov cocktail in new arson attacks on tobacco shops

Melbourne’s ongoing illicit tobacco war shows no signs of slowing down, 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 organized crime groups.

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

Detectives say an accelerant was used to light the suspicious fire at the Spring Square shop.

The offenders also managed to get away before police arrived.

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