Gardaí say they are examining the status of 53 people to determine if there are any indications they may have been trafficked into the country or are working here under duress.

Seventeen business were inspected over two days earlier this month, which focused on massage parlours, nail bars and car washes.

Officers from the Protective Services Bureau and the Organised Prostitution Unit were involved, along with officials from the Department of Social Protection, Revenue Commissioners and the Workplace Relations Commission

No arrests were made.

Ireland is one of 23 countries which participated in the Europe-wide coordinated action days against human trafficking for labour exploitation, which took place between 31 May and 6 June.

European law enforcement authorities carried out inspections in labour-intensive sectors, which require low-skilled workers as part of the operation.

Europol said today that 229 people were arrested – 73 for trafficking in human beings. The EU law enforcement agency says 630 possible victims of exploitation were identified and 150 new human trafficking investigations were initiated.

Europol also said employees in sectors such as transport, logistics, personal services and construction are more vulnerable to exploitation due to the lower level of education and awareness required with regard to labour rights and human trafficking.