Eleven people have been arrested in Co Clare as part of an investigation into illegal money lending.

A number of searches of both business and private premises were carried out in the Kilrush area this morning.

Five men aged between 18 and 55 and six women aged between 20 and 49 were arrested.

They are being held at a number of Garda stations in Clare, Limerick and Galway.

The investigation, which began after a number of complaints about unlicensed money lending were made to gardaí, has been ongoing for several months.  

The operation this morning involved local gardaí, the Criminal Assets Bureau and Regional Support Unit along with the National Criminal Intelligence Unit, Special Detective units from Galway and officials from Revenue, Social Protection and Clare County Council.