Four men are being sought following the abduction of a bank employee's partner and the theft of €100,000 from an Ulster Bank branch in Dublin.

A man in his 20s was later arrested and the money was recovered by armed officers from the Organised Crime Unit and the Emergency Response Unit.

The woman was released unharmed and has since been reunited with her husband.

Gardaí say further arrests are expected.

It is understood a gang of five armed and masked men forced their way into the home of the Ulster Bank employee on Sundrive Road in the early hours of this morning.

They took the man's partner away and forced the man to go to work. He was given a bag and a phone and the gang called him at work and told him where to leave the cash.

He left the money in his car on a road in Harold's Cross, which was then collected by a man and transferred to another car.

When the money was collected the man's wife was released unharmed in Ratoath, Co Meath.

Gardaí later moved in and arrested the man with the bag of cash.

He is said to be from Dublin and known to gardaí. He is being questioned at Crumlin Garda Station and can be held for up to seven days.

IBOA General Secretary Larry Broderick said the attempted robbery was 'a further example of the return of a disturbing trend which is causing anxiety and concern to bank staff throughout the country.'

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern congratulated the gardaí on the success of the operation and said it underlines the importance of following the agreed protocols.