Cash, luxury watches and a number of vehicles have been seized during a search operation in Cork as part of an investigation into an organised crime gang.

Seven residential premises, three offices and a plot of land were searched in Co Cork in the operation led by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Ten vehicles, including a 191-registered Ford Focus and Toyota Landcruiser, 181-registered Toyota Hilux and Ford Focus Sport, and UK registered 2015 Toyota Hilux and a 162-registered Kia, were seized.

Four Rolex watches and €31,500 in cash were also seized along with documents relating to the ownership of assets, financial documentation, mobile phones and electronic storage devices.

The searches are targeting the assets and activities of an extended family based in Co Cork, suspected of involvement in fraud, theft, deception, extortion burglaries and in the sale and supply of drugs.

The gang is also being investigated for crimes where elderly people were pressured into carrying out repairs on their homes.

Gardaí say the gang uses intimidation in instil fear into victims and charge exorbitant rates for substandard work.

They are also suspected of extorting large sums of money from elderly and vulnerable people for unnecessary work.

Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Clavin said: "This morning’s search operation is a significant development in the CAB investigation and is viewed as a major disruption to the activities of this gang".

In addition to members of the Criminal Assets Bureau, the searches also involve gardaí from the Cork City Garda division, as well as from the Emergency Response Unit, the Southern Region Armed Support Unit, the Garda Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation Unit, the Garda Mounted Unit, the Garda Dog Unit and Revenue Customs Dog Unit.

The searches were undertaken as part of Operation Thor.