A French narcotics police officer was arrested today on suspicion of stealing over 50kg of seized cocaine from the Paris police headquarters.

The 34-year-old officer, who was not publicly identified, is believed to have made off with the illegal drugs.

Security cameras spotted a person resembling him entering the headquarters with two bags, according to a joint statement from police and prosecutors.

The drugs have an estimated street value of up to €3m.

The officer with the Paris drugs squad was arrested on the Spanish border, where he was on vacation.

The missing cocaine has become a major embarrassment for the Paris police, with French media describing it as a real-life heist worthy of a crime movie.

The drug cache was seized in a Paris raid in early July.

On Thursday it was missing from a secure room in the police headquarters, which overlooks the Seine river close to the famed Notre Dame cathedral.

The headquarters attracted unwelcome attention in April when two elite French officers were charged with raping a Canadian tourist there in a case that sent shockwaves across France.