Police in Belfast have arrested three men in an ongoing investigation into what is believed to be a multi-million pound money-laundering and fraud operation.

The men arrested are aged 39, 40 and 44.

Officers from the PSNI's Economic Crime Unit carried out the searches, helped by the police Dog Unit and officers from Woodbourne Neighbourhood Policing Team.

"Money laundering is often a critical enabler of organised criminality," said Detective Sergeant Loreen Glenn.

"We believe the majority of this money is derived from a range of criminal activity carried out by organised crime gangs and could total in excess of £3m."

Police are also looking at the possibility that so-called "money mules" were used in the frauds.

These are people who transfer money on behalf of others, often through their bank accounts.

Police said they were often vulnerable individuals who were specifically targeted for this role.