A high-ranking officer is among three gardaí being questioned in relation to alleged links with a Munster organised crime group.
Specialist officers arrested the three members – a superintendent, an inspector and a garda – in a tightly-guarded operation this morning.
It has not been disclosed what station or stations the gardaí are attached to and details of where they are being questioned is being kept secret.
Sources said it is “unusual” that the three individuals have been arrested for separate alleged offences.
The superintendent has been arrested for breach of the provisions of section 62 of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005 – which relates to disclosing information.
The inspector has been arrested under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977-84, but the specific suspected offence has not been disclosed.
The garda has been arrested for suspected conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, but the legislation has not been cited.
The arrests follow a lengthy and complex investigation by the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI), which is based in Dublin.
One garda has already been arrested and questioned in relation to allegedly leaking information to a criminal gang.
Some of the leaked information is alleged to be linked to a planned raid by the Criminal Assets Bureau targeting a suspected money laundering associate of the Munster drug gang.
It has not been disclosed what legislation the three gardaí are being detained under, with Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act being the standard law used. This allows for a maximum detention period of 24 hours, excluding rest breaks. Organised crime legislation and drug legislation allow for longer detention periods.
The operation was led by the Assistant Commissioner of Special Crime Operations (SCO) and involved the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI) and the Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB).
Deputy Commissioner John Twomey, who confirmed the arrests.
Deputy Commissioner John Twomey, Policing & Security confirmed the arrests this morning saying they are being questioned over a suspicion that they have been involved in the commission of one or more criminal offences.
The Deputy Commissioner said: “An Garda Síochána is fully committed to investigating any alleged wrong-doing or corruption involving Garda personnel, and will work with other relevant agencies in doing so.
“As this is a live and ongoing investigation, it is not appropriate to make any further comment at this time.”
The Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, said: “While I obviously can’t comment on individual cases, I expect a thorough and timely investigation.”