A couple in their late fifties had a major surprise when they opened a parcel delivered to their home and found … 25,000 ecstasy tablets.

The man and woman, from Austria, had been waiting for clothes to arrive by post but got the drugs instead.

The woman thought the colourful tablets could be decorative stones, but the man quickly realised something was awry with the purple pills.

The couple, who live in Linz in the north of Austria, hastily returned the parcel and its contents to the post office, where the police were then called to inspect it.

The 24,800 ecstasy tablets were worth around €500,000, police said.

The wife had ordered clothes from the Netherlands, and the package had arrived from the Netherlands, but it turned out it was intended for delivery in Scotland.

Scottish police were notified and were able to arrest the intended recipient. Dutch authorities have launched an investigation into who sent the package.