GARDAI have uncovered an elaborate scam by Chinese nationals to nurture and grow cannabis plants inside rented accommodation.
Three Chinese nationals were arrested after officers raided a number of premises in the west Limerick area and discovered several hundred cannabis plants.
They were all charged under the Immigration Act and one was also charged with possession and cultivation of cannabis.
Investigating gardai found that the walls inside some of the homes had been demolished to create extra space to cultivate illegal cannabis plants.
Thousands of euro worth of damage was caused to two buildings in the Newcastle West area of Limerick.
The operation is ongoing, and Supt Jim O'Connor, of Newcastle West Garda Station, has appealed to landlords to be extra vigilant in the area about who they are renting their houses to.
"There is a small percentage who are using these houses for serious illegal activity," he said.
"I'm asking the people who rent houses to contact us if they have any suspicions because it is in their own interests to prevent illegal activity in their houses."