A detective has been arrested and questioned as part of an investigation into gardaí suspected of working for organised crime groups.

The officer was attached to the Special Detective Unit (SDU) which investigates subversive and organised crime and was licensed to carry a firearm.

Cash and ammunition have also been seized.

A file on the case is to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Garda Headquarters confirmed this evening that the detective has been suspended from duty.

Officers at the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation have for some time been investigating suspected links between members of the gardaí and organised crime.

As part of the investigation a detective garda at the SDU was arrested last Wednesday.

Investigators suspect he may have taken directions and handled money for the Hutch organised crime group and dealt with a number of the gang's associates.

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Gardaí carried out a number of searches as part of the inquiry, including at the man’s home.

Around €40,000 in cash and a number of rounds of ammunition were seized. The garda was licensed to carry a firearm.

Investigators also removed documents and electronic devices.

Laptops and phones are being forensically examined for emails, texts, and voice messages.

The detective worked in the SDU which is responsible for investigating organised and subversive crime including the activities of Irish and international terrorist and organised crime groups.

It is one of the most secretive and sensitive garda departments, with a remit that includes State security.

The officer has worked there for years and has been involved in several investigations into serious crime and paramilitary activity.

He has also given evidence at the Special Criminal Court in cases where people have been charged with membership of the IRA and explosives offences.

The officer was detained under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act at a garda station and released after questioning.

A file is to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.