Page last updated at 20:44 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 21:44 UK

Pistols seized in crime operation

One of the seized pistols - pic courtesy PSNI

Police in Northern Ireland have seized 14 pistols and arrested a 34-year-old man as part of a major international operation targeting organised crime.

Gardai have also seized 27 other firearms in the Republic of Ireland and heroin worth an estimated 3.25m.

A 42-year-old man was detained in north Dublin by Garda officers.

A man, from the Republic, was arrested as part of the operation at a Belfast city centre hotel by the PSNI. The guns were found at a separate location.

Dutch police were also thought to have been involved in the operation.

PSNI Detective Superintendent Essie Adair said the arrests were "extremely significant".

"We believe that this operation has disrupted a major organised crime gang," he said.

"Those involved in these types of crimes are living off the backs of communities and leaving misery and despair in their wake."

Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy said the arrests had damaged a powerful European drugs trafficking network.

"We believe that this operation has made significant inroads into an international organised crime gang involved on a large scale in the importation of drugs and firearms into Ireland and the United Kingdom," he said.

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