Around 150 gardaí have carried out searches in counties Dublin, Louth and Meath as part of investigations into the activities of organised criminal gangs.

Over 20 premises were searched, including homes and businesses, in an operation that began early this morning.

There have been no arrests in today's operation.

The searches were co-ordinated by the garda national support services based at Harcourt Square.

A number of Garda units used search warrants obtained in recent days.

Members of the Emergency Response Unit, the Organised Crime Unit, the National Bureau of Criminal Investigations, the Criminal Assets Bureau and local detectives were all involved.

23 premises were searched and a number of items were seized during some of those searches.

A number of mobile phones and documentation were taken away by gardaí to be examined.

Businesses and professional offices were searched as part of efforts to follow the money trail of suspected organised crime.

The operation comes just weeks after the Oireachtas passed tough new legislation to tackle criminal gangs.

Deputy Commissioner Martin Callinan said: 'These are targeted searches and are part of ongoing enforcement by An Garda Síochána of legislation relating to organised crime. Investigations into organised criminal groups will continue.'