Police in Australia have arrested six people they believe are part of an "expansive" criminal gang that steals baby formula to sell illegally in China.

According to Australian authorities, more than $1 million dollars worth of formula have been stolen in Australia and sold in China in the last 12 months alone.

Police says the arrest of a man on Saturday at Sydney airport, after he'd arrived from a flight from China, is the latest in a series of arrests connected to this "baby formula ring".

Three men and two women have also been arrested in recent months. Five of those six people have been charged.

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"This was quite an expansive criminal group that was exploiting an overseas market at the disadvantage of the Australian public," Detective Supt Danny Doherty, from New South Wales Police, told reporters on Monday.

Australian parents often report worrying shortages of baby formula.

Australian media has reported that these formula tins, purchased in Australia for about $30, are then sold in China for more than $100.

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