Five men have been arrested in a major police crack-down on the criminal activities of the INLA.

More than 200 officers were involved in raids and arrest operations carried out across greater Belfast under the auspices of the Stormont-established Paramilitary Crime Task Force.

Four suspected victims of human trafficking were found in a house in south Belfast. The four Romanian women have been taken to a police care suite.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland, The National Crime Agency and the British Revenue agency took part in the series of swoops against the supposedly on-ceasefire Irish National Liberation Army.

The west Belfast offices of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, the political wing of the INLA, was one of 12 properties raided in various parts of Belfast, Lisburn, Crumlin and Newtownabbey.

The suspects detained are aged 33, 41, 48, 49 and 51. The police said further arrests were planned.

The IRSP described the operations as "political policing."

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said: "This search and arrest operation is the largest conducted by the Task Force to date and is the result of an investigation that has been under way for a significant period of time into the group's criminality and specifically its involvement in extortion and prostitution.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to appeal to anyone who believes they or their businesses are the subject of extortion to contact officers at the Paramilitary Crime Task Force on our 101 non-emergency number. We want to hear from you and, as today's action demonstrates, where we can secure evidence of these suspected offences we will take action.

"There has been a misconception in some quarters that the work of the Paramilitary Crime Task Force is focused only on loyalist paramilitaries. Today's policing activity and a related operation in Derry in March clearly demonstrate that our work is to remove paramilitarism from all our communities across Northern Ireland."