The Government has been rocked by another security failure scandal after cocaine, passports and illegal contraband went missing from Coventry Airport.
The seized drugs and goods vanished from the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) store at the airport.
It is the latest setback for the department that lost the personal details of 25 million people on the child benefits system and discs containing the names and addresses of more than 7,000 Northern Ireland motorists.
It was reported yesterday that cocaine worth £80,000 from half a dozen Customs raids was missing, as well as other items.
Police are now investigating if the goods were stolen or have simply been lost.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said last night: "This is yet another disaster from HMRC; a shocking security breach from the same Government department that last month admitted it had lost half the country's personal details.
"We expect the Government to protect us. The very least they can do is look after the drugs that they confiscate."
A HMRC official refused to confirm the details of what is thought to be missing.
But he said: "We can confirm that a small number of items are missing from one of our offices in the Coventry area.
"We are taking this matter very seriously and have been co-operating fully with Warwickshire Police. We cannot comment further on this matter, it's the subject of an ongoing investigation."
The secure depot is used to temporarily store drugs and other contraband confiscated from parcels arriving at Coventry International Hub, based at Coventry Airport.
The Hub is the UK's largest parcel post depot and virtually all parcels sent to Britain from abroad are processed there. Seized drugs reportedly are meant to be kept there for a maximum of 30 days before being sent to the Queen's Warehouse in Felixstowe, a secure facility, to be destroyed.
One Customs insider said: "The problem is there is such a lax attitude towards security and procedures. Sixty people work there and potentially all have access to the locked storeroom.
"The combination code used to lock and gain entry to the store hasn't been changed since the late 1990s.
"It has been feared for a while that something like this could happen. We don't know whether it is the work of one individual or endemic corruption."
Police and specialist auditors from Customs' internal governance department are expected to spend weeks identifying the full list of missing items.
Concerns about general security at Coventry Airport were raised in March this year after it emerged that an illegal immigrant had managed to get work there as a security officer. Marlon Masina, from Zimbabwe, used a forged letter to con an employment agency and found work in car park security at the airport with a "red pass" giving access to restricted areas.
Just last week it emerged two computer discs containing the names and addresses of 7,685 Northern Ireland motorists had been lost at a sorting centre in Coventry after being sent between Northern Ireland and the DVLA in Swansea.
The most serious mishap was the loss of the entire UK child benefit database, containing information on more than 25 million people, from HMRC.
Earlier this month it was claimed that the DVLA in Wales broke data protection rules when confidential documents were sent to the wrong motorists. The agency sent 1,215 questionnaires and about 100 went to the wrong addresses.