Rio de Janeiro - A mystery piece of underwear found during a parliamentary session earlier this month is causing a lot of red faces in the Brazilian Congress, a report said on Thursday.

The red and white panties, described by O Globo daily as “rather large” and “not a G-string”, were inadvertently dropped by one of five deputies who arrived late for a vote on cybercrimes on May 15.

Kicked towards a trash can by a security guard, they were discreetly picked up by the deputy speaker, who, fearing the incident might be recorded by security cameras, hid the lingerie in his pocket, the report said.

The unclaimed knickers were taken to the lost property office before being incinerated on Wednesday to save further embarrassment.

“We think we know who dropped it but we can't be mean to a colleague,” Tiririca, a former clown who became the most-voted-for congressman in the 2010 elections, told O Globo. - Sapa-AFP