An estimated  60,000 illicit cigarettes, a large quantity of tobacco, plus a large quantity of counterfeit clothing, DVDs and other items -  including cash - have been seized by gardai following a major search operation in Co. Donegal.

News of the seizure emerged following a Police Service of Northern Ireland operation in Derry that led to the discovery of a sub-machine gun and two assault rifles.

Further details about the Donegal operations are expected to emerge today.

According to the PSNI the searches in Derry were connected to investigations into paramilitary related activities.

"The INLA in Derry/Londonderry and Strabane claim to be the protectors of their community but the reality is that they use violence and intimidation to control and exploit those communities," said District Commander Supt Gordon McCalmont.

Two men aged 44 and 43 were arrested in Derry.

The PSNI said officers also recovered a quantity of drugs, counterfeit clothing and DVDs, and around £13,000 in cash.

A number of phones, tablets and documentation, as well as  7,000 illicit cigarettes and a quantity of hand-rolling tobacco was also seized during their searches.

The PSNI said seven searches were carried out under the Terrorism Act and PSNI were supported by HMRC officers during the operation.

It also stated that a search had been carried out in Donegal.

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