Irish authorities have found 300kg of cocaine on a Malta-flag bulker in the port of Foynes.

Irish media named the vessel as Navibulgar's 32,200-dwt Verila (built 2022), which had arrived from Montreal in Canada with a grain cargo.

A photo posted on X by the Revenue Service showed drug-sniffing dog Hector with the haul in big plastic bags.

The drugs have a street value of at least €21m ($23), the service said.

The discovery was made during what was described as a major security operation.

Navibulgar has been contacted for further information.

The Bulgarian company is already dealing with the reported hijacking of its 41,600-dwt bulker Ruen (built 2016) by Somali pirates this week.

State broadcaster RTE reported that the cocaine was hidden in the cargo, with a buoyancy aid and a GPS locator beacon attached.

This suggested the drugs were to be thrown overboard at some point.

The vessel’s crew was being interviewed by police.

No arrests have yet been made.

The ship left Canada on 9 December.

AIS data showed the ship moored in Foynes on Thursday morning.

Ferry find and shots fired

The seizure came just two after Revenue officers found 12.5kg of cocaine worth €876,000 at Rosslare Europort.

The drugs were found inside a freight unit from a ferry that had arrived from Cherbourg in France.

In September, a Panama-flagged bulker was boarded by naval forces in a drugs raid off Ireland.

Navy officers fired warning shots over the 51,000-dwt Matthew (built 2001) as it failed to stop during the operation.

A “significant quantity” of drugs — likely to be cocaine — was discovered on the vessel, a police statement said. The value was said to be €130m.