Gardaí in Cork County have this morning arrested three males for organised crime related offences.

The males (in their 30s and 40s) are currently detained in Garda Stations in Cork under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007.

This morning investigating Gardaí searched five locations in Co. Cork and two locations in Co. Roscommon. In addition to arrests, items of evidential value were seized during the courses of the searches.

Over 100 Gardaí were involved in operations this morning led by detectives from the Divisional Protective Service Unit, Cork County and supported by uniform and plain clothes Gardaí, Garda Dog Unit, Armed Support Unit, and Scenes of Crime Unit, amongst others.

The investigation team in Cork is supported by sworn Garda members and specialist Garda Staff from National Units including the Human Trafficking Investigation & Coordination Unit (HTICU) at Garda National Protective Service Bureau (GNPSB), the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau (GNCCB), Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) Garda Mutual Assistance Section and the Garda Síochána Analysis Service (GSAS).

Gardaí are investigating the activities of an Organised Crime Group (OCG) based in Ireland, with Eastern European connection, involved in the alleged trafficking of persons into Ireland for the purpose of labour exploitation. The investigation is being supported by International colleagues from Europol.

An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to any person who may be the victim of Human Trafficking or labour exploitation to speak to a member of An Garda Síochána, either at your local Garda station, or to call the Garda Confidential Phone Number 1800 666 111.

An Garda Síochána understands that victims of these crimes may not always be in a position to report themselves, maybe there is opportunity to speak to a Garda who you might meet at any location.

Importantly, An Garda Síochána  appeals to any person with any information on these heinous crimes or suspects that any person is the victim of human trafficking to speak up - talk to a member of An Garda Síochána, either at your local Garda station, on the Garda Confidential Phone Number 1800 666 111 or to any members of An Garda Síochána.

An Garda Síochána has no further comment on this operation at this time.

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