American computer giant Apple has been rocked by a drugs scandal at its Cork facility in Ireland.

The latest news comes weeks after the company was heavily criticised for failing to pay taxes in Ireland.

The Irish Sun reports that a sting operation at its Cork facility found traces of cocaine and cannabis.

The report says a security firm hired by Apple detected 14 work spaces that showed signs of drug use.

A company insider told the paper that Apple executives in Ireland became concerned when they learnt of rumours that drugs were being used at the company’s European headquarters.

They hired a private security company who sent drug dogs into the plant at night after workers had gone home.

The paper reports that dog handlers carried out a sweep of the building and located 14 stations where the dogs detected the presence of illegal drugs. The paper states the drugs involved were cannabis and cocaine.

The Apple source told the Irish Sun that the technology giant was deeply concerned by the incident.

The insider revealed: “There were in the region of 14 hits and a report was given to management.

“It came as a real shock and they’ve tried to be really proactive to put a stop to it.”  The insider added that the probe has stalled.

An Apple Inc spokesman commented: “We have a zero tolerance policy toward drug use and possession.”

The Cork Apple facility, on the north side of the city in the Holyhill area, employs more than 3,000 people, and is Apple’s European headquarters.

The Cork-based work force serves customers in the Middle East, India and Africa.

Apple Operations International, a subsidiary of Apple Inc, is seen in Hollyhill, Cork, in the south of Ireland May 21, 2013.Reuters