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Eleven RAF troops are arrested on suspicion of taking cocaine

Eleven RAF troops have been arrested on suspicion of taking cocaine, The Mail on Sunday has learned.

They were taken into custody after commanders broke up a private party in an accommodation block.

But military police took four days to arrange a drugs test, by which time any illegal substances they may have consumed at RAF Honington, near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, would have left their bodies.

The Mail on Sunday understands the troops were celebrating after completing a training course at the base, which is home to the RAF Regiment and specialist units trained to counter threats from chemical, biological and radiological hazards.

Eleven RAF troops have been arrested on suspicion of taking cocaine, MoS has learned. They were taken into custody after commanders broke up a private party in an accommodation block. But military police took four days to arrange a drugs test, by which time any illegal substances they may have consumed at RAF Honington, near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, would have left their bodies

A source at RAF Honington said: 'Evidence of drug-taking was found in their rooms and they were arrested that night. 

'But they couldn't believe their luck when they were not subjected to a drugs test for four days. 

'Traces of cocaine can be picked up two days afterwards, but rarely after four, so the delay could have saved their careers, just months after they began their training.

'It does seem strange RAF Police would wait before testing them. It makes you wonder why.'

The Mail on Sunday understands the troops were celebrating after completing a training course at the base, which is home to the RAF Regiment and specialist units trained to counter threats from chemical, biological and radiological hazards. (File image of RAF Honington)

The troops, who were held in November, are understood to be trainee gunners from the RAF Regiment, which protects air bases and contributes personnel to elite units such as the Special Forces Support Group.

Official figures indicate drug use is rising in the Armed Forces. 

In 2019, 660 members were dismissed for failing drug tests, up from 580 in 2017.

The MoD said: 'The RAF is aware of an incident at which some trainees were arrested. 

'As this is subject to an investigation, it would be inappropriate to offer further comment.'

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