A bungling crime gang lost €5m worth of drugs after failing to pay its bills for a Dublin storage unit.
The haul, which was found following a search by gardaí on Friday afternoon, is one of the largest individual seizures of ecstasy and MDMA in the history of the State.
Officers recovered two large plastic barrels inside the storage unit which contained around 76.9kg of suspected ecstasy tablets stashed into bags.
More than 8kg of suspected MDMA in blocks was also discovered.
The drugs have been sent off for analysis but at this stage the estimated value is around €5m - making it among the largest seizures of any drug this year.
The Herald has learned that the haul was discovered when the storage unit was being cleared out because of unpaid rent.
"The unit was being rented but the money hadn't been paid and it was being cleared out to be made available for somebody else," a source said.
"During the clean-out, the drugs were found and gardaí were notified immediately."
On Friday afternoon, a search warrant for the premises was obtained and the unit searched by gardaí from Tallaght including the local district drugs unit.
Gardaí are now attempting to establish who the drugs haul belongs to.
"Nobody has been detained yet due to the nature of the discovery but inquiries are ongoing to identify who was in control of these drugs," the source added.
"It is quite a significant amount to have seized and very few organised crime groups in the capital would be able to purchase this amount for sale and supply.
"The fact that the drugs were simply left in a container and the rent wasn't being paid is quite bizarre in itself," the source added.
Investigations are ongoing and the storage unit, located in south Dublin, is also being examined.
A garda statement said: "The total drugs seized is believed to be €5m. All drugs seized are subject to analysis.
"The scene is currently preserved for technical examination.
"No arrests have been made at this time," the statement added.
Friday's haul is among the biggest individual seizures of these drugs ever in Ireland.
It is similar in value to the €4.8m worth of pills that were recovered in Mountrath in Co Laois in 2004.
Members of what was then known as the Garda National Drugs Unit (GNDU) and Cork gardaí made the seizure following a confidential tip-off.
A Cork man was later sentenced to 24 years imprisonment in relation to the seizure, reduced to 16 years on appeal.
Friday's seizure is also double the value of the €2.5m worth of ecstasy seized at a Blanchardstown business park in 2013.
Cannabis worth around €1.5m was also discovered.
A Dublin man had pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs. However, the charges in relation to the ecstasy were later dropped after the Court of Appeal ruled that the banning of it and other drugs, was unconstitutional.
He was later jailed for seven-and-a-half years for possession of cannabis with the intent to sell or supply.