Three men have been arrested after border force officials found ice and cocaine hidden inside lollipops and lollies that arrived from the United States.

Border force intercepted three packages in November before notifying police who launched an investigation alongside the Department of Home Affairs and US law enforcement.

Almost 6kg of methylamphetamine (ice) and 655 grams of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $3.5m, were found across 16 packages seized since November last year.

Border force officials have seized 16 packages since November. Picture: NSW Police
Border force officials have seized 16 packages since November. Picture: NSW Police

Detectives searched several properties in the northern beaches, Sydney's CBD and Ryde early on Wednesday and arrested three men, aged 21, 31 and 49.

They were taken to Manly police station.

Charges are yet to be laid.

Northern Beaches Police Area commander Superintendent Patrick Sharkey said the drugs could have been mistaken as sweets.

"The manufacturing and packaging of these drugs was sophisticated, and they could have easily been mistaken for the sweets they were disguised as, by both children and adults," he said.

The drugs have a street value of about $3.5m. Picture: NSW Police
The drugs have a street value of about $3.5m. Picture: NSW Police

"It is very concerning given the drugs were uncut and had a potency that could potentially cause serious injury or death if ingested."

ABF International Mail, Cargo Clearance & Systems Support NSW Superintendent John Fleming said criminals might think they were smart by using a scattergun approach.

"Criminals might think that by using a scattergun approach to sending numerous packages containing drugs to different locations the packages will be missed by ABF officers, but that's not the case," he said.

"The ABF are always on the lookout for prohibited items being smuggled in goods like clothing, household goods or in this case food items."

Originally published as Horrific find inside kids' lollies

Police say cocaine and ice was inside. Picture: NSW Police
Police say cocaine and ice was inside. Picture: NSW Police
Three men have been arrested. Picture: NSW Police
Three men have been arrested. Picture: NSW Police

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