A "torpedo" filled with 165lbs of cocaine with a street value of £4.4 million has been found on a beach in Ireland close to a tourist hotspot.
Customs chiefs found small bales of cocaine wrapped in plastic, each about one foot long and weighing 2.2lbs, inside the 6ft metal tube on Monday.
The Irish Republic's Revenue Customs Service described the tube as a "torpedo-type device" and said it may have been attached below the waterline of a cargo ship or another ocean-going vessel.
"It is not possible at this stage to say either where the drugs originated or their intended destination," a spokesperson said.
Officials said the alarm was raised thanks to the customs drugs watch programme, which urges people living in coastal communities, maritime personnel and people living near airfields to report unusual or suspicious activities.
The drugs were found on the shore near Liscannor in County Clare, not far from the tourist hotspot of the Cliffs of Moher and other renowned surfing sports.