The Garda Commissioner has ordered the establishment of a nationwide investigation into the activities of head shops and the criminal acts committed against them.
A number of head shop owners have already been arrested and questioned and files have been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to five shops.
Gardaí say they are suspected of having sold illegal drugs and products.
More files will be forwarded to the DPP in the coming weeks.
The investigation will also focus on crimes against head shops, such as robberies, arson, pipe and petrol bomb attacks, to identify who is responsible and if they were co-ordinated.
The Revenue Commissioners is also investigating another head shop, which is suspected of illegally exporting some of its products, including BZP, to Europe.
The nationwide investigation has been set-up by Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy and will be run by the Garda National Drugs Unit.
The Garda National Drugs Unit has already carried out test buys at head shops all over the country and illegal drugs such as Lysergamide and Mescaline - both of which have hallucinogenic effects - have been found.
21/04/10 - 04/21/10