A yacht has been impounded and three men arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking following a multi-agency operation off the south coast of Ireland.

The three men were brought ashore at Kinsale Pier, Co Cork, shortly after 8am and taken to Bandon Garda Station where they are being held under Section 2 of the Drugs Trafficking Act.

They can be held for up to seven days.

The yacht has been towed to the Castlepark Marina in Kinsale harbour where it is undergoing a detailed forensic examination under armed guard.

It is understood that no drugs have been found so far on the yacht but the search is ongoing and could take some time.

The yacht was detained yesterday off the Kerry coast by Naval Service personnel after it had sailed across the Atlantic from South America.

The arrests are part of an international drugs surveillance operation involving gardaí, Revenue and the Navy.

Gardaí said it is an ongoing investigation in the Cork area.