Australian Border Force (ABF) officers had located the illicit tobacco products and the men were arrested as they attempted to collect the shipment. The cigarettes were contained in a shipping container that had been labelled as containing outdoor furniture, the agency said.
The haul represented over AUD 1 million (around EUR 617,000) in evaded duties, the press release stated.
'Additionally, the discovery of ammunition and the ballistic vests indicates that people involved in the illicit tobacco trade can often be dangerous and part of wider criminal networks,' said ABF Investigations Commander Graeme Grosse.
The maximum penalty for smuggling tobacco into the country is 10 years in prison and courts can impose penalties of up to five times the evaded duties, the agency said.