A 53-year-old man arrested in connection with a seizure of €1.2m in cash found buried in a field in Co Limerick has been released without charge.

The man was arrested on Saturday along with a 43-year-old man after gardai disrupted a major money laundering operation.

The massive haul of cash, which gardaí believe is the proceeds of crime, was seized following a five month long intensive surveillance operation led by the Divisional Drugs Unit at Henry Street Garda Station.

It is the largest amount of cash seized in the history of the State.

The 53-year-old convicted criminal, was one of two men caught in the process of transferring the money buried underground, into a container on land at Portcrusha, Montpelier, Co Limerick when gardaí swooped on the scene,

He was held for questioning under Drugs Trafficking legislation but was released without charge this evening and a file is being prepared for the DPP.

The other man was released without charge last night.

Both men were drying out the wads of cash in a tumbler drier in the container when gardaí made the arrests.

A digger which was being used to retrieve the buried cash was also located at the scene.

The buried cash was wrapped in plastic and stored in boxes and hidden several feet under the ground.