Gardaí seize three AK47s at Slane, Co Meath

An investigation into the assault rifles' possible use in the murder of David Byrne at The Regency hotel has begun

Newstalk, Criminal Assets Bureau, CAB, garda, gangland, organised crime, dissident Republican, Vinny Ryan, David Byrne, Edward Hutch, Gerry Hutch, Christy Kinihan, Regency Hotel, murder, shooting

Armed gardai and CAB carrying out searches on homes and businesses in Dublin Wednesday. Picture by: Niall Carson / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Updated 09.45

Gardaí are questioning a man after they seized three AK47s rifles when they stopped and searched a car in Co Meath last night.

The assault rifles were recovered in the back of a car on the N2 at Slane.

It is believed they may have been used in the Regency Hotel shooting of David Byrne last month.

Officers stopped a car travelling north along the Derry road, operating on intelligence.

The guns were found in the back and a man (39) was arrested at the scene.

Investigations Editor with The Sunday World, Nicola Tallant says the weapons seizure is a major breakthrough in the David Byrne murder inquiry:

"The weapons are believed to have been on loan from north of the border. So, possibly they were on their way back up.

Obviously the guns are going to have to go through ballistics tests etc, but they are quite satisfied they are the guns used in The Regency shooting."

Crime reporter Conor Feehan, who is with The Herald and The Irish Independent, told Newstalk Breakfast it is believed the guns are owned by dissident Republican in Donegal:

The man who was arrested is being held at Drogheda garda station, under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939 as amended.

He can be questioned for three day.

Earlier yesterday the Criminal Assets Bureau raided 18 premises and seized hundreds of thousands of euro worth of high-powered cars, jewellery, cash and betting slip.

Special Correspondent with The Irish Independent, Paul Williams, says security on the homes was high:

"Everything was bullet-proof and bomb proof, in fact the door was bomb-proof... one also had a panic room.

Panic rooms are generally used for people considered to be at risk of aggravated burglary or kidnap.

And no expense was spared by the way. One house also had a jacuzzi, a steam room, and a full bar - fully stocked with Moet."