Four people have been arrested in Queensland for their involvement in an international drug syndicate that spans Australia, South America and Central America.

Authorities seized more than 50 kilograms of cocaine concealed in hydraulic oil in Mackay on Friday night.

A 38-year-old Australian man and two Colombian nationals, aged 30 and 42, were arrested and face a total of 26 charges, including importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

A third Colombian national, aged 24, was also arrested in Mackay, with investigations ongoing.

The arrests are the result of an international operation involving Australian, South American and Central American law enforcement agencies, which have been working together since September 2009.

Mark Walters, manager of the AFP Brisbane office, said the seizure would inflict "lasting damage on transnational organised crime and Australia's illicit drug trade".

"This operation has dismantled a cocaine syndicate at every level, from the organisers, investors and financiers to the dealers peddling these drugs on our streets," Mr Walters said in a statement.

Australian authorities' break came on May 10 when they intercepted 17 barrels of cocaine laced oil, among a shipment of 600 barrels, which arrived in Melbourne by sea.

Police followed the drugs to Mackay, which police believe to be the Australian base of the international syndicate.

Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor praised the combined effort of the AFP, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, Queensland Police and international law enforcement.

"The recent spate of major drug seizures in Australia shows that law enforcement agencies are jointly employing effective strategies in tackling organised crime," Mr O'Connor said in a statement.

"The collaborative attack against this cocaine syndicate has no doubt protected the lives of many Australians by preventing these drugs from reaching our streets."

In a second phase of the operation, the AFP executed three search warrants in Melbourne on Saturday morning, with investigations ongoing.

Seven people have been arrested and charged with drug trafficking and conspiracy to commit a crime in Colombia, while in Panama three others were arrested on international drug trafficking charges on Friday.

The three men charged in Queensland will appear in Mackay Magistrates Court on Monday.