Gardaí in the west have arrested five men in relation to an investigation into the tampering of identification passports and microchips of horses presented for slaughter in Ireland.
Gardaí attached to the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigations (GNBCI) arrested the five, aged between 35 and 55 years, on Tuesday 30 June for the offence of participation in a criminal organisation contrary to Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2006.
The arrests are the latest development in an ongoing operation lead by GNBCI, with support from the Department of Agriculture and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
The five arrested males are currently detained under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007 at Carrick-on-Shannon, Longford and Roscommon Garda stations.
In June of last year the Gardaí and Department carried out seven planned raids at farms, houses and commercial premises in Roscommon, Leitrim, Sligo, Westmeath and Kilkenny in relation to the investigation.
Officers from the Criminal Assets Bureau, Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau were all involved in the raids at the time.