THREE detectives from the Narcotics Bureau were arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) last week in the latest of a growing number of operations against the disciplined services. The officers were picked up last Thursday and were officially arrested early on Friday. All three have since been released on bail. Other Narcotics Bureau detectives are believed to have been questioned by the anti-graft force as part of the investigation, which one detective believed was linked to an 'informer'. A team of ICAC officers searched the detectives' offices in May House at police headquarters last Friday morning. It is believed to be the first time since the 1980s that ICAC agents have searched offices in police headquarters as part of an official investigation. One detective said the arrests, raid and planned questioning of other officers had already caused a drop in morale in the Narcotics Bureau and could lead to increased tension between the two services. One of the officers arrested was identified by a colleague as Detective Senior Inspector Ho Chi-kit, who is in charge of an operational team in the drug squad. The other two officers, a detective sergeant and a detective constable, are both members of his team, which investigated the importation of drugs into the territory and the distribution of the narcotics through Hong Kong. A statement released by the ICAC yesterday said: 'On October 20, 1994, ICAC officers conducted an operation in relation to an allegation of corruption against officers from the Narcotics Bureau. 'Three police officers were arrested for suspected corruption offences and they include one senior inspector, one sergeant and one police constable.' A senior ICAC spokesman yesterday declined to discuss details of the operation, which will continue this week, because it was 'very sensitive'. 'It is at a very sensitive stage and I really don't want to go into the details at the moment,' he said. 'I don't want to confirm anything at the moment.' The ICAC was inaugurated on February 14, 1974, to investigate widespread endemic corruption in the Royal Hong Kong Police, and in other services. Its success led to a dramatic reduction in the amount of graft in Hong Kong. However, this is now on the rise again, mainly due to the pressure stemming from the July 1, 1997 handover, with increasing incidents of corruption in the Government and in cross-border business deals. Over the past two years, the ICAC has broken a number of small syndicates made up of disciplined officers from the Immigration Department, Customs and Excise , Correctional Services Department and the police involved in corruption.