As part of a co-ordinated operation An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland yesterday carried out a large number of searches across both jurisdictions.

Yesterday’s operation is part of Operation Quest which focuses on securing convictions against individuals involved in organising prostitution, brothel keeping and associated offences including money laundering.

The operation which commenced at mid-day yesterday has so far resulted in the search of over 100 premises (mainly apartments, flats and houses) in the Republic of Ireland.

Three people have been arrested.

A man in his 40s and a female in her 20s are currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at Dundrum Garda Station. Another female in her 20s is currently detained at Store Street Garda Station also under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

A large amount of documentation, cash, mobile phones and computers have also been seized.

The Garda operation, which involves over 200 Gardaí, was led by members of the Organised Crime Unit based at the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation supported by officers from all Garda Regions.

A third phase is ongoing.

During the investigation to date it has been established that prostitution is organised on a cross-border basis and this joint operation was specifically aimed at individuals and groups intent on making profits from vulnerable members of society across the island of Ireland.