The Criminal Assets Bureau has seized 115 cars and thousands in euro and sterling as part of an investigation into money laundering for a drugs gang in the mid-west.

The bureau carried out eight searches earlier today in Limerick, Tipperary and Dublin.

Cars were driven away from the forecourt of a car sales company in Limerick, the latest move by the Criminal Assets Bureau as part of its investigation into an organised crime gang in the area.

Two car sales businesses, two private homes and four professional offices including solicitors, accountants and a finance company in Limerick, Dublin and Tipperary were searched.

115 cars including Mercedes and BMWs have been seized along with €43,000 in cash and £1,000 in sterling and a Rolex watch.

A bank account with over €30,000 has also been frozen under the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act.

The car businesses are suspected of laundering money for the organised crime gang which controls one of the biggest drug trafficking operations in the mid-west with senior figures based in Newcastle West, Rathkeale and Limerick.

Documentation in relation to financing and the ownership of assets, mobile phones and electronic storage devices have also been seized.

A garda is also suspected of leaking confidential information about the CAB investigation to the criminal gang and both he and a senior businessman linked to the car business have already been arrested and questioned.

The CAB investigation is focused on the laundering of drugs money through the car businesses in Limerick.